he deadline for casinos to operate as usual throughout Russia finished yesterday. Now, casinos will be faced with a choice of operating illegally, moving to the unprepared zones, or following Bojko out of the country.
Ritzio remains one of the two companies controlling the vast majority of Russian gambling venues, along with Storm International. Bojko alluded to the possibility of opening casinos in Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro, as well as Germany and Italy.
Russia is likely to see a massive wave of unemployment if the new gaming restrictions are diligently enforced. Estimates by gaming industry experts run as high as 400,000 jobs being sacrificed, and billions in tax revenue as well. Even the government's spin allows that 60,000 people will lose their jobs overnight.
Meanwhile, early reaction from the potential host companies was guarded optimism, as the chance to create a spike in employment will not be ignored by lawmakers.