International edition
June 20, 2021

Interview to Lyubov Loginova, Chairman of the board of directors of Alsart

“Casinos and slot halls in Russia plan to stake on poker theme and organize clubs”

(Russia).- Before moving all gambling establishments to the special zones, operators plan to convert casinos in poker venues, considering that this activity has been recognized as a sport. According to this, News4Amuse granted an interview with Lyubov Loginova, Alsart’s Chairman of Board of Directors, about the trends and leaders of the business activity.

W

hat are the tendencies for today on the market of sporting poker?
In Moscow and St. Petersburg, casinos and slot halls are re-trained to sporting poker clubs – this is the only way to owners not to lose their business and not to move into special zones according to the law after the 1st of July. But as specialists consider that not all casinos will get the right to organize poker tournaments, furthermore there is no place for everyone. Casinos and slot halls are planning to stake on poker theme and organize poker clubs with a great number of tables. It seems clear that, in this case, only poker lovers will gain from it; there will be poker centers where everyone can find the game and service for any taste. But there is a question if there is enough time for gambling business to make the transition. It needs to prepare the equipment and train personnel for another job. In the regions, there is also a process of re-training from casinos to poker clubs.  
 
Who is the main operator on the market of sporting poker?
In Russia 57 clubs of sporting poker have already been certificated. There are Joker, New Texas Owner, Omaha Union, Poker Club, Poker Palace de Luxe and others. But nowadays, except certificated, in Russia over 30 poker clubs exercise the gambling activity. Not long ago Admiral, Ambassador, Golden Palace, Korston, Kosmos, Metelitsa, Shangri La (the largest Moscow casinos) have re-trained their business to organization of poker tournaments.

Moscow and Leningrad regions are leaders in the organization of sportive poker, with a 60% and 20% respectively. One of the main positions among other regions is Tatarstan (7%). The number of sportive poker clubs continues to grow. Federation of Sportive Poker announced that they get requests for certification from clubs every day.
Certain part of the sportive poker market has pseudo-clubs which open and close quickly enough. It is necessary to notice that there rules, procedures, methods of games are distorted and cause damage to normal business.  

Poker is also famous among online projects. Every day we can find news clubs in Internet but there is no exact number of them because it is extremely hard to fix portals but the most important ones are: Poker Stars, Titan Poker, GoPlay, Party Poker.

Which kind of poker is the most popular now? 
There many varieties of this game Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Sevencard Stud, Soko, Telesina, Americana and etc. But only three games can be determined as sportive according to the legislation of Russian Federation such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Sevencard Stud. The leader is Texas Hold’em. It is more dynamic and exciting among other varieties.

What is the potential of the market?
Probably, the activity of poker clubs and gambling community will be regulated by the government. Many events are widely covered, poker rooms become famous, the names of players become brands. It means that it will be interesting for “big” business.

The number of players will increase and it means that the number of championships in Russia and international tournaments will increase, too. Due to the fact that not everyone has the opportunity to play offline (law salaries, no time or club), we can say on 100% that the activity of poker rooms will activate in Russia.

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