Limassol’s commerce and industry chamber (EBE) expressed surprise and disappointment on Thursday over the intention of main opposition Akel to propose banning smoking inside casinos, which had been deliberately exempted from new legislation expected to be approved by parliament soon.
In a written statement, the chamber said the party’s intention left a particularly negative impression at a time when the project was already in the pipeline and the investors had made their plans based on what they knew, including that smoking would not be prohibited on the premises.
“It is well known that finding an investor for this high added value project, that will create thousands of jobs, was not easy, and to raise obstacles now, after the fact, constitutes, to the say the least, an unfortunate choice, which not only creates difficulties for the investor, but also casts doubt on our seriousness as a state,” EBE said.
The chamber voiced hope that wiser thinking would prevail in the end to enable the project to go ahead unobstructed.
Akel submitted its amendment on Wednesday. The scope was the equal treatment of entertainment and other establishments, which had not been exempted, and protection of public health.
“As the bill stands today, it allows casinos to have enclosed smoking areas. For reasons of equal treatment … we think that smoking must also be prohibited in casinos,” Akel MP Aristos Damianou said.