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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

Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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