Promoters believe it will help them fight the illegal casino industry

Russia would have its own “Vegas” in the south of the country

Russian Federation
Reading time 1:24 min

Ending with big flows of cash and slots has not turned to be an easy task in Russia. A strict law approved two years ago reduced the gaming industry to just four special zones. However, it seems that the initiative has failed. With a great number of illegal venues that have not disappeared yet, the existence of the new zones has little worth.

“We would like to suggest a harder punishment for the owners of illegal casinos. Up to the moment, almost the 100% of these individuals achieved to avoid serious penalties,
disguise its business as lottery agencies or cyber cafes”, said Alexéi Agafónov, deputy governor of the City of Krasnodar.

The transportation problem has also harmed the initial idea of taking the gambling zones away from the residential areas. For example, the only legal casino existing in Russia is located at 300 km from the closest airport. “Nowadays we have a stable flor of players that come to this casino. It is enough for this project to be profitable, but it still does not operate properly”, assured Agafónov.

Last month, the Russian president Dmitri Medvédev, approved the law that moves the only gambling zone in force towards the south of Russia. Now, casinos will be closer to touristic destinations of the coast of the Black Sea. Local residents in the city of Anapa believe that a successful Russan “Las Vegas” version could be created there.

“The village of Blagovéshenskaya, with 1,000 hectares of free land, is just 5 minutes from the airport. Here there is also a railway track and a road that crosses the city. For our touristic center, to host a games of chance project is a good oportunity to turn Anapa in an attractive destination during the whole year”, said Andréi Koftun, the Deputy Mayor of Anapa. 

On that area, a gambling zone called Arenas Doradas will be installed, which will also have a theme park about Russia and several hotels, restaurants and shopping centers. Although a deadline for the construction has not been fixed yet, and the project is in its first phase of development, local authorities are very excited with it.

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