Russia creates gambling zone
At the G2E Asia last week, it was announced that the state owned OSJC Nash Dom Primorye had announced plans for the issuing of a Request for Concepts. This issue would relate to the integration of an entertainment zone located in the Vladivostok area of Primorsky and would mainly deal with entertainment such as gambling, which is currently under heavy scrutiny in the country.
The newly designated gambling safe zone is one of the only four permitted house casinos in the country and provides an extremely lucrative and attractive venture for potential big time investors.
Through the creation of this has also been the creation of a website allowing potential investors and private companies to submit their proposals for the development of an integrated resort within the location. A deadline of 60 days has been given before the go ahead will be moved forward to the RFC where the concepts will be officially published.
Current Primorsky is pushing forward an strengthened attempted at attracting more foreign tourism and promote economic development, an aspect that the location has been lacking over the better part of many years. Thanks to the close connection between Asia and Russia, the gambling zone is predicted to capitalise on the growth of neighbouring countries and draw that wealth to Russia. The zones location will be situated 20km from the International Airport in Vladivostok which has a direct link to Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo; all are a 2 hour flight away which provides fast ease of access for international customers.
“Over the next five years, the Russian Federation will continue to have a strong strategic interest in the economic development of the Far East region,” said Marina Lomakina, general director of Nash Dom Primorye. “Our view is that the tourism sector is a strategic economic opportunity that has yet to be fully developed.
“We believe the IEZ will create a compelling experience for Asian tourists seeking a destination that is near, but culturally different. At the same time, we believe that the private sector will be interested in the tourism and casino gaming potential of the IEZ.”
Commenting on the recent announcement, Bo Bernhard from the International Gaming Institute at the Nevada University, said: “We have no north Asia port for gambling. For a long time the debate has been, will it be Korea or Japan and all of a sudden Russia is in play. It’s an interesting opportunity.”
It had been suggested by the Russian Audit Chamber last year that the funds invested in this gambling zone project were wasted and could have been put to better public use.
The government has spent in excess of RUB1.4bn, equating to US$44.7 million, which has taken place over the past 3 years, whilst receiving only a minimal RUB100m in the process.