The Next Macau & Las Vegas? Crimea and Sochi See Future as Gambling Centers (MT)

On Friday, Russia’s State Duma passed a new law bringing Crimea and the post-Olympic resort town Sochi into the select group of Russian regions and territories that are allowed to establish gambling zones. Analysts say that Crimea’s budget could get a 25 billion ruble ($725 million) boost annually by establishing a gambling zone.

Gambling was outlawed across Russia in 2009 with the exception of four designated zones, established at the same time as the ban. However, only Azov-City, on the border of the Krasnodar and Rostov regions of southern Russia, has emerged as a gambling center, while planned zones in the Kaliningrad region, Primorye region and the republic of Altai are still under construction nearly five years later.  Azov-City did bring in 140 million rubles in taxes last year ($3.9 million), of which 120 million came from the zone’s three casinos.

It should be noted that under Russian law, gambling zones cannot be built on government funds – meaning private investors are needed. The just passed bill also stipulates that gambling venues can only be established in Olympic facilities that were bank-rolled by private investors.

To read the whole article, Crimea and Sochi See Future as Gambling Centers and Crimea Seeks to Become Next Las Vegas, go to the website of the Moscow Times.

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