CASINO

Tigre de Cristal plans black-tie shindig for second anniversary

TAGs: craig ballantyne, primorye, Russia, tigre de cristal

tigre-de-cristal-anniversaryThe Tigre de Cristal casino in Russia’s far east gaming zone is taking stock of its performance ahead of its second anniversary this weekend.

Tigre de Cristal held its soft-opening on October 7, 2015, becoming the first casino to open in the Primorye gaming zone outside of Vladivostok on Russia’s eastern shores. The venue is hosting a second anniversary party on Saturday, a black-tie affair with Russian singing star Nyusha (pictured) on hand as part of the entertainment.

According to the official stats, 850k guests have visited Tigre de Cristal over the past two years, with roughly 38% of those guests being foreign tourists. The property directly employs 1k staff, while providing an additional 4k indirect jobs. The venue has kicked up nearly RUB 1.2b ($20.8m) in taxes and fees to the Russian state budget and an additional RUB 200m to the Primorsky Territory government.

Tigre de Cristal is operated by G1 Entertainment, a subsidiary of Oriental Regent Ltd, in which the Lawrence Ho-controlled Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd holds a controlling stake. Which is a really long way of saying Ho (pictured, in black tie), who also controls Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Melco International Development, runs Tigre de Cristal.

Tigre de Cristal recently welcomed a new executive director, Stilianos Tsifetakis, to fill the shoes of the outgoing Craig Ballantyne, who is leaving to oversee development of Melco International’s Cyprus integrated resort project, which is set to become Europe’s largest gaming venue.

This week, Ballantyne was given a fond farewell by execs at the Primorsky Territory Development Corporation, who presented him with a plaque bearing the inscription that “Primorsky Krai will always be glad for your visit, because you have become an important part of its history.”

While Tigre de Cristal is currently Primorye’s only functioning casino, NagaCorp’s Naga Vladivostok and Diamond Fortune Holdings’ Selena are expected to open their first phases toward the end of 2019, around the same time Tigre de Cristal expects to open its Phase 2.

Plans for a fourth project led by Russian casino operator CJSC Shambala received regulatory approval just last week and plans are also underway for construction of a new racetrack in Primorye.

In less positive news, the planned auction for undeveloped Primorye land plots was scrapped last week due to a lack of serious bidders, although local authorities claim that informal talks with potential investors remain ongoing.

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