Russia’s Primorye Gambling Zone Set For Tighter Government Controls - partycasino

Russia’s Primorye Gambling Zone Set For Tighter Government Controls

The Russian federal government is circling around the Primorye Gambling Zone, as it eyes more hands-on attempts to steer the development project to completion.

The news comes amidst growing criticisms over the project in Primorye Krai, following what some consider to be a lack of progress in developing the project, after several years of hold-ups and delays.

Located in Russia’s far east, near the border with China, the gambling zone had been earmarked for its important strategic location, both as an attraction for tourists and gamblers alike in the region.

Russian authorities had licensed the development of 8 casino resorts in the region, with a view to building a destination that could rival the world’s leading gambling centres. First announced back in 2009, the project has been hit with numerous delays and difficulties, and to date, only one casino, the Tigre de Cristal, has opened to the public.

Far from the vision of a Las Vegas-style attraction for the region, the 640-hectare resort is still some way from realising the initial plans of developers and the Russian government, which the government had initially hoped would be contributing significant revenues to state coffers from 2011.

Now, with the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East eyeing up a more hands-on intervention, national gambling laws are in line for amendments, with provisions being drafted ahead of a December 2017 enactment timetable. While the resort has yet to live up to the expectations of its hype, the Tigre de Cristal has proved commercially successful since it opened at the tail end of 2015, fuelling calls for the government to intervene to help steer the development to the finish line.

According to a local tourist chief, Konstantin Shestakov, it is hoped that the success of the Tigre de Cristal in its first full year will help encourage other investors to get on board, and help the development of the region get back on track.

“The apparent success of the first hotel and entertainment complex with casino Tigre de Cristal in the IER Primorye resort will certainly serve as a good incentive for future investors who decide to implement their projects.”

The Lighthouse Project, a development by NagaCorp, is the next resort expected to open in the region, but with a timeline spanning to the end of next year, government officials are understandably becoming anxious to push the development ahead at a faster pace, towards the development of the 8 casinos originally licensed.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong based company behind the Tigre de Cristal is pressing ahead with phase two of its development, investing a further 500.0 million into expanding their resort, including the addition of a further 500 rooms, plus shopping and entertainment facilities.

This comes off the back of a full 200,000 visitors to the resort in the last year, leaving few in any doubt as to the commercial importance of developing a resort in this part of the country.

Yet progress is being seen as being much too slow, and the Russian government are keen to get the slot machines ringing across the region, with plenty of calls on the tax revenue expected from the gambling zone. To date, the $8 million or so in annual contributions from the Tigre de Cristal is a shadow of the ultimate expectation, and with the resort now several years behind budget, it’s understandable that it’s attracting more scrutiny.

With the government now preparing to take a more hands-on role, it’s expected that greater efforts will be made to attract big money external investors. According to sources at the ministry, “the Far East Investment and Export Agency is now tasked with attracting new large international players to the project”.

Time will tell whether they are successful. In the meantime, progress in Primorye remains painstaking slow – no doubt good news for the Tigre de Cristal, as it waits for competition to develop round about them.