Melco Brings In Casino Veteran To Handle New Resort

Written By Janice Doughtrey

Melco International Development is a developer based out of Hong Kong. The developer has been involved in numerous casino resort projects, including a new resort with a cost of €550 million that is to be built in the Republic of Cyprus. Recently, Melco announced that it would be appointing gambling industry veteran Craig Robertson Ballantyne as President of the integrated casino resort. Currently under development, the resort’s official title will be City of Dreams Mediterranean.

Ballantyne has been involved in the casino industry for decades, first getting his start with Ladbrokes during the year 1972. He would go on to serve as a casino manager at Ladbrokes for a period of approximately three years from 1976 to 1979. Showing exceptional skills in governance, Ballantyne acted as General Manager for numerous Ladbrokes properties over the course of his career. Branching out, he has been an integral part of international casino leadership in South Africa, Asia, and Europe since the year 1990.

The new City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort presents new challenges as a venue situated in the unique legal landscape of Cyprus. As the acting President of the resort, Craig Robertson Ballantyne will be tasked with ensuring that the casino is in compliance with laws and regulations. Ballantyne is also in charge of overseeing all operations, including performance by management and all other employees. Joining Melco in 2017, Ballantyne has already made himself familiar with the company’s business ventures.

Given its size and scope, the City of Dreams Mediterranean resort does not have a projected date of completion and opening until the year 2021. However, Melco will put a temporary casino into operation as the new resort complex is finishing up. Visitors to Cyprus can expect the casino to open its door sometime during 2018, preferably in the summer as the international tourist wave rolls through. Melco has exclusive rights to operate a casino and resort combination after it won the bid in 2016.

The multi-year development of the new casino resort is expected to create 4,000 jobs as building continues. After the resort has been launched, estimates indicate that 6,500 permanent jobs will be created and offer a boon to the Cypriot economy. Melco expects City of Dreams Mediterranean to produce €700 million in revenue on a yearly basis. For a helpful comparison, €700 million is about 4 percent of the annual GDP in Cyprus. Hopes are that the casino resort will bring in 300,000 players and tourists each year.