International edition
September 21, 2021

Part of Altai Palace Hotel Resort

Siberia’s first casino opened last week

(Siberia).- Siberia has opened its first ever casino in a USD 22 B venture that will see the introduction of ‘gambler tourism’ to the region. The Siberian Coin, which is part of the new Altai Palace Hotel Resort opening in April next year, launched last week with 16 gaming tables and 20 machines

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t is the brainchild of Roman Spodyrev, a space instrumentation engineer from Moscow, who has plans to run charter flights to fly in the wealthy from around Siberia. And while it is hardly Las Vegas, the new casino has many luxurious touches, including expensive wool carpets from Italy and sinks painted with a dusting of real gold.

The Siberian Coin also has some more interesting features, such as special soundproof phone booths in which guests can choose a fake background sound like an airport or traffic. That, according to its owner, will give customers 'an alibi' whilst gambling inside.

Spodyrev said: ‘We expect that guests will come here from Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Kemerovo, Novokuznetsk, and so on, but it’s from Krasnoyarsk and Omsk that we will attract people  firstly. Initially, we will organize charter flights on aircraft for 45 people. We have conducted negotiations on this issue with the airlines and they are interested.

‘According to law, we cannot advertise the casino in the territories in which we are interested. However, we intend to develop weekend tours with tour companies’. It has taken four years for the dream of building a casino among the Altai Mountains to become a reality. When it opened last week, only the ground floor featuring a VIP area, was operational but more of the complex will be available starting in December. The first floor will feature a large gaming room – with a capacity for 500 guests - with low-cost slot machines where the minimum bet is just one rouble, a coffee shop, and two small banks.

A pawnshop and 70 seat restaurant will be located on the second floor, with the hotel taking up the entire top floor. Initially, 75 staff will work in the casino but when the whole complex opens next year this number will increase to 230 people, serving 30 gaming tables. The workers come from different cities with the croupier, for instance, from Chelyabinsk.

Spodyrev said no expense was spared in ensuring that the venture is popular with visitors, stating: ‘My favorite VIP room is the one that is decorated with wood. Our designers have insisted on more bright colors than were used in two other halls, with gold and silver. The sinks in the luxury rooms have a dusting of real gold, while the carpet on which you walk is very expensive - it is from Italy; natural wool.

‘The tables, chairs and all of the gambling equipment, such as the chips, are all made in Russia, by a company in the Moscow region. The roulette wheel was created in a Russian aircraft factory, with the technology used in aircraft engines’.

Spodyrev said he is optimistic the casino resort will be a success, particularly given that it is the first of its kind in Siberia. Rooms at the hotel start at 2,000 rouble-a-night (US$ 42) and US$ 1,700) for a luxury suite.

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