Investment holding company Melco International Development Ltd (200:Hong Kong) has named Craig Ballantyne (pictured) the president of City of Dreams Mediterranean, Cyprus’ first integrated casino resort slated to open in 2021, according to a Wednesday press release quoted by the Cyprus Mail online news outlet.
Ballantyne is a gaming and entertainment industry veteran who has more than four decades of experience. In his new role he will be responsible for ensuring that the venue’s day to day operations are conducted in keeping with the regulations and legislation of Cyprus, according to the report.
Ballantyne was quoted as saying in a statement, “I am honoured that Melco has entrusted me with this challenging project.”
Prior to his September 2017 hire by Melco International, Ballantyne was the director for Tigre De Cristal casino and hotel located near Vladivostok, Russia. Hong Kong billionaire businessman Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, at the time, controlled both the Hong Kong-based Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd (102:Hong Kong) and Melco before divesting in Summit Ascent and in December stepping down as the company’s chairman and non-executive director.
Announced in January, City of Dreams Mediterranean will reportedly feature 500 hotel rooms alongside a 70,000 square foot casino offering approximately 1,000 slots and some 100 gaming tables. The facility, which reportedly comes with a €550 million (US$651.8 million) price tag, is being developed by a 75% – 25% consortium led by Melco International and including Cyprus Phasouri (Zakaki) Ltd, a Cyprus-based conglomerate.
June saw the consortium win the 30-year casino license, with the first 15 years exclusive, for the integrated casino resort located near the southern city of Limassol from The Republic of Cyprus government.
It is expected that during the construction period the Cyprus project will create some 4,000 jobs annually and will contribute approximately 6,500 full-time direct and indirect positions in the island nation when the facility is fully operational, according to the Cyprus Mail news outlet.
In April, Melco stated in its 2017 Annual Results (pdf) announcement that the consortium is expected this year to launch a temporary gaming venue while working towards the “targeted opening for the permanent integrated casino resort.”