Russia's Vladimir Putin Plans to Turn Crimea into Gambling Haven
Now that the study about a new gambling zone in Crimea has shown encouraging potential, Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided to present a draft law that will allow Crimea’s authorities to choose a location for a new casino.
The project, which is supposed to create up to 10,000 jobs and help the region’s weak economy to grow without relying exclusively on money coming from the central government, seems to have already attracted a large number of international operators. However, neither the names of the companies interested in joining the project nor the eventual starting date of the works that should shape Crimea's future have been announced yet.
"The resort is expected to yield a large-scale multiplier effect; a high workload of the entire infrastructure: the sphere of services, automotive transport and everything linked with servicing tourists," said Crimea’s First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev to Russian media.
"We plan to create a round-the-year resort. Demand for the gambling zone will be all-seasonal," he continued. According to Temirgaliyev the large investments needed to create Russia's next casino zone will not be an issue as "we have received a large number of offers from the most recognized global brands to take part in this project."
Yet he preferred not to name any of those "recognized global brands" because "until the State Duma passes a relevant law, we shall not announce the names of the companies seeking to participate in the projects."
Project participation of large international investors has been indirectly confirmed by the bill presented by President Putin, as the bill states that the launch of Crimea’s gambling zone will not require any additional funding coming from Russia’s central government. According to Temirgaliyev, Crimean authorities would have already raised $1.5 billion for the development of the project.
One enthusiast of turning Crimea into Russia’s next gambling haven is the deputy executive director of the Russian Association for the Development of the Gambling Industry Samoil Binder, who also commented on the upcoming gambling zone.
"We will have to organize sports events like the world [poker] championship in Las Vegas," he said, conscious that this will require investment and efforts from all parties involved.
According to Binder, for the process to be a success and gambling to significantly shape the economy of the former Ukrainian territory, "we will need to build 5-star hotels on the seashore, to invest and create recreational infrastructures including concert halls, sports facilities, restaurants and bars."
The idea of turning Crimea into one of the country's gambling zone was anticipated here at PokerNews one month ago, as on March 27 the country’s Prime Minister Medvedev asked Deputy Prime Minister Kozak to investigate about the possibility of launching a special casino zone in the region.
Russia's so-called casino zones are the only places in the country where casino gambling is allowed and are the result of a series of anti-gambling measures adopted by President Putin back in 2009. As for today, the country’s casino zones are in Krasnodar, Kaliningrad, Altai and Vladivostok.
Photo c/o Wanwa — Wikimedia Commons.