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We are developing the second stage of the game zone
Interview with Craig Ballantyne, general director of the entertainment complex Tigre de Cristal in Vladivostok
Photo: Tass / VEF Photobank
- Tigre de Cristal, which has no analogues in the Far East and Primorsky Krai, became the first object of the gambling zone. Tell us how the development of the gambling business began and what place does Tigre de Cristal take in this process?
- Thanks to the decision of V. Putin, that the development of the Russian Far East is a national priority, the Russian government legislated the Primorsky Krai to create a playground. Proceeding from this, the gambling and entertainment zone (PRI) "Primorye" is a large-scale and very important regional investment project that can become one of the drivers of the growth of the economy of Primorye and the development of the social infrastructure of the region. The game complex Tigre de Cristal received the opportunity to develop due to the active position of the chairman and the largest shareholder of the company, Lawrence Ho, who firmly believes that the Primorsky Territory has a unique location for integration with the APR countries.
We are still at the stage of arrangement, nevertheless our operating cash receipts have surpassed operating expenses since the official opening and we continue to increase the client base and attract foreign tourists. Currently, we are developing the second stage of the game zone with an area of 120 thousand square meters, including a hotel complex on 500 rooms, a shopping center, a food court, restaurants, bars, night clubs, conference and exhibition facilities, SPA and wellness a club, additional parking spaces, and golf courses.
- Customers from which countries use the services of the casino?
- Most of our foreign visitors are from the countries of North-East Asia.
- What is the demand for a premium zone in the overall business structure of Tigre De Cristal?
- We provide a unique service for local and foreign guests, including a premium gaming zone, exclusive living conditions, and also develop additional non-gaming services, both entertainment and shopping.
- You headed the entertainment complex Tigre de Cristal shortly before its opening. Could you tell us about your experience in the gaming industry?
- My career in the gaming industry began in 1972 year, at 1976 I was first appointed general manager of the casino. In 1991, I left the UK to promote gambling in developing countries, initially in Poland, then in other countries. Lawrence Ho, the head and co-owner of Melco Crown Entertainment, and John Wang, the head of Summit Ascent, paid attention to the combination of my knowledge and experience in organizing the game business, taking into account the cultural characteristics and legal framework of different countries.
- How can you describe your leadership style?
- Resolute, persistent, orderly, aimed at achieving the organization's goals. I try to take into account both my own experience and the highest standards of education and training.
- Tigre de Cristal is positioning itself as a unique place in the Asia-Pacific region. What, in your opinion, makes the seaside gaming zone the most attractive project from the point of view of development of the entertainment industry?
- We actively invest in the organization of weekly show programs with participation of world-class stars. For example, a grand talent show "Broadway" in the genre of the popular program "The Voice", which was held in the gaming and entertainment center Tigre De Cristal, attracted more than 8 thousand visitors.
- Tell us more about the entertainment center Tigre de Cristal.
- We are focused on increasing the profit from non-game objects. For example, Pan-Asian restaurant "88" with excellent Chinese cuisine, or "Cascade" restaurant, which invites visitors to appreciate the art of steak cooking. The Tigre de Cristal also has a variety of bars where guests can enjoy a cocktail in a secluded setting or live music. Golf enthusiasts can take advantage of the Cristal Golf Virtual Club at the Tigre de Cristal Casino, where they can choose from 50 different courses. The luxury Tigre de Cristal Hotel & Resort has a capacity of 151 rooms and provides the highest standards of hotel service.
- Are there any restrictions for people who want to use the services of the casino?
- In accordance with the requirements of the Russian legislation, each client (Russian or foreign citizen) must present a passport, before entering the casino territory.
- What types of slot machines are represented in the casino? Which of them are the most popular?
- The choice is quite large, but the most popular at the moment are slot machines Novomatic and Spielo.
- What games are represented in the casino?
- On our tables are Baccarat, Russian poker, Blackjack, American roulette, and Sic Bo. Such diversity should satisfy even the most
- Does the casino Tigre de Cristal any gaming championships?
- In the coming months we plan to hold several competitions using slot machines and gaming tables. Also we are considering the possibility of organizing an international poker tournament Texas Holdem (Texas Holdem).
- What role do social networks play in the marketing strategy of the casino?
- We use the principle of modeling a marketing mix, and social networks are an integral part of our marketing strategy.
- The casino security system is a necessary tool for its successful operation. Tigre de Cristal uses a standard system or has any features?
- Together with the system of information exchange between different casinos, the security system is an excellent tool for protecting against scammers. Therefore, the security system of our casino, on the one hand, meets all the requirements of a standard system, on the other hand, it has technical features that meet the requirements of our casino.