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VLADIVOSTOK, November 11. /TASS/. The first casino has opened in the Primorye gambling zone in Russia’s Far East.
The opening ceremony of the Tigre de Cristal casino took place on Wednesday after one month of operation in soft opening format.
Speaking at the ceremony Craig Ballantyne, Executive Director of G1 Entertainment company, which owns the casino, expressed confidence that the project will attract additional investments in all areas of tourism of the region.
Primorye gambling zone is located in the area of 620 hectares in Muravyinaya Bay near Vladivostok. The zone will feature entertainment centers, casinos, hotels, villas, yacht club and other tourist properties. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.
The key investors of the project are G Entertainment 1 together with Melco International Development Limited, a Malaysian company NagaCorp Ltd, Royal Time Primorye and Diamond Fortune Holdings.
The ban on gambling in Russia (except bookmaking offices and betting terminals) outside specially assigned territories came into force on July 1, 2009. The ban was imposed in the wake of a large shortfall of budget revenues from gambling business: the state could collect no more than $480 million in taxes annually compared with the gambling industry’s incomes of up to $5.5 billion.
The Russian legislation earlier the establishment of gambling zones in the Altai Territory in West Siberia, the Krasnodar Territory in southern Russia, the Primorye Territory in the Far East and the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.
The gambling zones established by now include the Yantarnaya zone in the Kaliningrad Region, the Sibirskaya Moneta (Siberian Coin) zone in the Altai Territory, the Primorye zone in the Primorye Territory and the Azov City zone in the Krasnodar Region. Of these four zones, only the Azov City gambling zone functions most fully.