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Crimean authorities raise $1,500 mln to build gambling zone in Crimea

April 23, 2014, 4:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The construction of the gambling zone will occupy a territory of about 100 hectares at Crimea’s southern coast or somewhere between Alushta and Yalta

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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matitzyn

MOSCOW, April 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Crimea’s authorities have already raised a sum of $1.5 billion on the construction of a gambling zone on the peninsula, Crimea’s First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper published on Wednesday.

Bearing in mind the fact that the world’s biggest gambling companies have already officially promised to invest in this project, budgetary financing will be minimal, he noted.

“It is planned to create at least 10,000 new jobs. 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,” he said. “We plan to create a round-the-year resort. Demand for the gambling zone will be all-seasonal. We have received a large number of offers from the most recognized global brands to take part in this project. Until the State Duma [lower house of the Russian parliament] passes a relevant law, we shall not announce the names of the companies seeking to participate in the projects.”

The construction of the gambling zone, which, according to preliminary estimates, will occupy a territory of about 100 hectares, will be financed from private sources only, he noted. It is planned to build this zone in Crimea’s southern coast. It will be a closed zone located far from populated localities. Another option, according to Temirgaliyev, is to build this zone somewhere between Alushta and Yalta, near Gurzuf, but without access to the sea. The final decision will be taken after the State Duma passes a law on the establishment of a gambling zone in Crimea. The relevant bill was submitted by Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 21, 2014.

Meanwhile, Samoil Binder, a deputy executive director of the Russian Association for the Development of the Gambling Industry, said that $1.5 billion would not be enough to build an efficient gambling zone that would be able to bring considerable revenue to the Crimean budget. The construction of a gambling cluster would require from $5 to $7 billion, he told. In his words, the Crimean gambling zone project should target foreigners as well, so it should provide for the construction of world-level infrastructure. “It is necessary to build several five-star hotels on the seashore, to build a recreational infrastructure, including concert halls, sports facilities, restaurants, bars. It will be necessary to organize sports events there, like world championships in Las Vegas,” he noted.

Currently, four Russian constituent regions - the Altai, Primorsky and Krasnodar Territories, and the Kaliningrad region - have official licenses on gambling zones, the newspaper reminded. However the only active gambling zone in Russia is Azov City. In 2013, it yielded 142 million roubles ($3.9 million) to the budget, including 121 million roubels ($3.3 million) from the gambling businesses.

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