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Sochi and Crimea Pegged as Future Gambling Zones

Published: July 5, 2014 (Issue # 1818)



  • Analysts suggest Crimea's budget could get a 25 billion ruble ($725 million) boost annually by establishing a gambling zone.
    Photo: Yevgeni Razumny / Vedomosti

The State Duma passed a new law Friday bringing Crimea and, in a surprise move, post-Olympic resort town Sochi into the select group of Russian regions and territories that are allowed to establish gambling zones.

"The creation of a gambling zone in the Republic of Crimea will help attract additional investment in the region, create new jobs and replenish the revenue base of the regional budget," said Anatoly Karpov, first deputy chairman of the Duma's Economic Policy, Innovation Development and Entrepreneurship Committee, ITAR-Tass reported.

The Russian government essentially outlawed gambling in 2009, restricting it to four designated zones throughout Russia, but only one, the Azov-City gambling complex on the border of the Krasnodar and Rostov regions, has taken brought its special privilege to fruition. Similar zones in the Kaliningrad region, Primorye region and the republic of Altai are still under construction five years on.

In a surprise move, legislators inserted a clause into the bill during its second reading that allows for the creation of gambling facilities in Sochi, the venue for the Winter Olympic Games earlier this year. The bill stipulates, however, that gambling venues can only be established in Olympic facilities that were bank-rolled by private investors.

Proposals to turn Sochi into a Russian Las Vegas were floated by Sberbank chief German Gref this past winter at a meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, but Medvedev at the time did not support the initiative, Vedomosti reported, citing individuals present at the meeting.

While the government has placed restrictions on where gambling zones can be established in Sochi, the bill gives Crimean authorities full jurisdiction over defining the location and boundaries of gambling areas.

Analysts suggest Crimea's budget could get a 25 billion ruble ($725 million) boost annually by establishing a gambling zone, Itar-Tass quoted Karpov as saying.

"You can expect an increase in the flow of tourists to the region, the development of the hotel business and food service," Karpov said.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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