he initiative was authored by first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Budgets and Taxes Gleb Khor (United Russia), Itar-Tass learnt this week at the office of the lower house.
The deputy noted that nearly three years had passed since the issue of the government decision on “establishment of an Azov-City gambling zone in the Shcherbinovsky district of the Krasnodar Territory and the Azovsky district of the Rostov Region”. “However, there is no full-fledged operation of the Azov-City gambling zone,” he claimed.
Khor noted at the same time that “the Krasnodar Territory is traditionally a centre of rest as well as tourism and possesses a great investment lure”. “This will help to implement construction of facilities in the gambling zone mostly thanks to investments, flowing to that region,” he reckons.
The bill also suggests excluding the operating norm that a decision on terminating a gambling zone cannot be adopted by the Russian government before the expiration of a decade since the date of its establishment.
Earlier, Khor along with senator from the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Pochinok already suggested amendments to legislation, providing for closure of Azov-City in the Rostov Region. However, as Tass was told on Tuesday at the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy and Business Activities, they were withdrawn and now “are again submitted in the form of a separate bill”.
At the same time, committee chairman Yevgeny Fedorov, describing earlier his attitude to the situation, used to say that “the part of Azov-City, located in the Krasnodar Territory, is operating and developing, but this is not the case for the Rostov Region”.
On August 12, the Krasnodar Territory put forth an initiative of shifting the Azov-City gambling zone to the free territory of the Black Sea coast. The project of shifting was backed by the non-commercial agency Association of Development of the Azov-City Gambling Zone and Azov-City investors. Incidentally, the Rostov Region expressed indignation at these plans.
Regional Governor Vassily Golubev requested State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov back in August “to clear up the situation in essence” and to head off a shift of Azov-City as well as to leave the Rostov Region in the list of regions where the location of gambling zones is permitted. Later, speaker of the Federation Council upper chamber Sergei Mironov deadly opposed shifting Azov-City.
“I have a negative attitude to this initiative, since the idea was quite correct from the outset: gambling zones should be ‘in a barren field’, because any zone in a city is again a calamity; this is what we have escaped from,” he substantiated his opinion.
On October 1, the second legal casino, Shambala, with a gambling area of 1,500 square metres in the Azov-City gambling zone, Krasnodar Territory, welcomed its first visitors. The Krasnodar Territory invested us$ 33 million in developing infrastructure of the gambling zone and the Rostov Region – us$ 5.6 million, as of this writing.
On July 1, 2009, Russia put into force the federal law on banning the operation of gambling joints all over the country, apart from specially reserved zones: the Primorye and Altai territories, the Kaliningrad Region as well as on the border of the Krasnodar Territory and the Rostov Region.