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SIMFEROPOL, April 21. /ITAR-TASS/. A gambling zone in Crimea might prove a serious rival to China's Macau, Las Vegas and even Monaco, Crimea's First Deputy Premier in the new Russian republic Rustam Temirgaliyev told ITAR-TASS on Monday.“Our task is to create a tourist cluster, which will operate year-round, using a gambling zone as an advantage,” he said. “We have been considering construction of a gambling township on Crimea's southern coast and have been considering several more sites. At issue is a territory of around 100 hectares directly on the seaside,” Temirgaliyev said.
Another option being considered was to merge the territories of two or three sanatoriums which were loss-making in the past and where the assets had become outdated. Specific plans would be formulated by mid-May, the politician said.
Russia's president has submitted a bill to the State Duma lower house of parliament to establish the Crimean zone, which would be the fifth such location on Russian territory. Details are published on the Duma website, noting that Crimea's authorities would designate the winning site.
Gambling was banned in Russia from July 2009, but four territories were exempted. Gambling is allowed in Siberia's Altai, on the far eastern Maritime territory, in the westernmost Kaliningrad region and on the administrative border between southern Russia's Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don regions.
Bookmakers and betting terminals, licensed by the Federal Taxation Service, are the only exception to the gambling ban.