International edition
June 23, 2021

Alsart Group Chairman, Lyubov Loginova

“It is obvious that the decision to ban gambling completely was wrong”

(Russia).- In Russia, gambling is banned, and there are only four approved zones for gambling, however, these zones are far from being started. The only hope – Azov City – established a precedent of relocation of the zone with the help of good and correct lobby. Lyubov Loginova, Chairman of Alsart Group, analyses the current gambling situation in the country.

Where are we now?, wonders Loginova, who answers: “Practically at the beginning of establishing gambling business– back to the point we were many years ago”, and added: “The government of Buryat Republic already claimed for opening gambling zone “Baykal bereg” at the territory of the republic.

Due to the precedent of relocation some shifts in “Siberia moneta” (Sibera coin) came to the fore. As explained by vice-governor of Altay region Michail Schetinin, the first casino will be opened at the beginning of 2011.  He added that one hotel is already constructed as well as other infrastructure objects.

Loginova added that there are only two possible development alternatives. “The first scenario is when gambling is banned but exists in a hidden form. As a result the government will end up losing millions and billions of dollars,” she said.

“Indeed that is what we have for the present moment – gambling in Russia exists and functions on every street. High level of bureaucracy gives fly-by-night businesses a great opportunity to develop and gaps in current legislation give way to semi legal or completely illegal gambling slots to emerge rapidly hiding under titles of internet or lottery clubs”, she pointed.

As Russian government is aware of the real situation with gambling business, the initiative for four gambling zones to be created in Russia is the first step demonstrating readiness to eliminate drawbacks.

“It is obvious that the decision to ban gambling completely was wrong and brought neither advantages nor profit, - comments the Head of Alsart Group Lyubov Loginova, - and everybody realizes this was a mistake. The ban was aimed at protecting young and elderly people from uncontrolled gambling – and that is absolutely right. But we understand that the main profit for casinos didn’t come from these social groups but from established people with a stable level of income who control their life and actions”.

However, the main disadvantage of gambling ban is billions of taxes that Russian government loses every month. From the moment of ban Russian government lost at least us$ 960 million.

Participants of the gambling market were the most punctual tax payers in Russia since were greatly interested in conducting their business due to the high breakeven. For comparison, in 2009 tax revenue in Georgia has been doubled in comparison with the previous year although tax payments accounts for 25-25% from total income.

As a consequence it is clear that this trend will not bring any benefits for the segment. Taking into account that fact there are rumors around the document signed by Prime Minister that allows 12 casinos to be opened in Moscow in 2012.

On the other hand, expecting Football World Cup in 2018 the new Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin ordered to close all lottery and entertaining clubs at the territory of Moscow. He stated that all civil servants who are not aware of lottery of entertaining clubs at the territory of their districts will be dismissed.  And indeed it took only two days to close all entertaining clubs at the territory of Moscow.

“Football championship in 2018 requires cardinal decision of gambling future, - explained Lyubov Loginova, - everybody realizes that casinos, if allowed in huge hotel in big cities, will bring millions of dollars. And we suppose that in the nearest future some crucial changes in legislation will be made that will regulate gambling at a completely new level”.

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