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Belgium – ECA embarks on ambitious three-year strategy and welcomes Cyprus as newest member

By - 14 February 2019

At the General Assembly of the European Casino Association (ECA) held at ICE London on 5th February, the association’s new strategy for the coming years was approved. Under the title “Supporting and promoting Europe’s casinos”, the ECA will advocate the values and principles of the nationally licensed land-based casino industry in Europe towards a sustainable future.

Among the key objectives of the ECA will be to provide thought leadership, exchange and development of best practices on key issues for the industry including digitalisation, anti-money laundering, corporate social responsibility, responsible gambling, diversity & inclusion and safety & security.

These areas will define the association’s activities for the years to come alongside its focus on supporting the development of sustainable, responsible and effective policy-making at EU and national level. Among the key focus areas for the ECA will be the fight against all forms of illegal gambling at national level with cross-European best practices. Further efforts will focus on promoting the positive economic, social impact and good causes provided by the licensed European casino industry.

Strategy implementation will be led by Philip Easthill, who was promoted from Executive Director to Secretary-General by the General Assembly, Chairman Per Jaldung, as well as Vice-Chairs Tracy Damestani and Prof. Dietmar Hoscher together with the board of directors.

A further highlight at the ECA’s General Assembly was the approval of the membership application of Melco City of Dreams Mediterranean for Cyprus as the 29th member after passing the strict membership requirements and signing up to the association’s code of conduct. The company is owned by Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited and The Cyprus Phassouri (Zakaki) and the Integrated Resort will open doors in 2021 with a pop-up casino already established alongside four satellite casinos. The 550 € million resort is forecast to attract 300,000 tourists to Cyprus and create 6500 jobs.

After the General Assembly ECA Chairman Per Jaldung said “We are proud to embark on the next three years with our new strategy that will help us support the licensed land-based casino industry from the policy level down to the casino floor. We look forward to cooperating on our ambitious activities with our members, partners and stakeholders. We are delighted to welcome Melco City of Dreams Mediterranean for Cyprus as newest member. The project is a great example of the positive impact of our industry in developing tourism, generating employment and benefiting national economies.”

On the occasion of joining, Craig Ballantyne Property President of Melco City of Dreams Mediterranean for Cyprus commented “We are delighted to join the European Casino Association at this crucial time and represent Cyprus. In the current phase of establishing City of Dreams Mediterranean as Europe’s first-ever Integrated Casino Resort, this is a great time to establish connections with Europe’s licensed land-based casino industry and work on best practices across all areas. We very much look forward to welcoming the industry to Cyprus to present our exciting project”

Caption: Philip Easthill (Secretary-General, ECA) with representatives of Melco City of Dreams Mediterranean Petros Liasis (Vice-President Legal Affairs) and Isobel John (Head of Compliance)

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