International edition
June 24, 2021

Last week in Sochi

Successful edition of Russian Gaming Week

(Russia).- On November 5-6, the Sochi Exhibition Pavilion gathered representatives from all gambling market levels at Russian Gaming Week Sochi, for the first time after casinos had been banned in Russia. This event became the starting point for active and meaningful planning of a Sochi gambling zone. The RGW team is sure that, after the launch of the first gambling houses in Sochi and in Crimea, specialized exhibitions will boost its potential.

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GW Sochi exponents have been represented by leading gambling operators, including:

Belatra, manufacturer of gambling machines, operational systems and tools for increasing casino and arcade games profitability;

Casinopool, a casino equipment provider from Czech Republic. The company is operating worldwide, demonstrating its products at all major exhibitions;

Octavian, a leading Russian developer and provider of software and hardware casino complexes;

Casexe, a casino online developing platform;

Login Casino, a magazine about gambling business;

Also, international gaming network Pari Match has become one of the premoters and a Coffee Break Sponsor. “At this exhibition we present our own product – a self-service terminal,” said Alina Zhadan, a Pari Match representative.

“At our exhibit we demonstrated our gaming equipment, including gaming machines, new games and a jackpot system. We brought the new “Billionaire” kit, consisting of 10 various games including small lines, roulette and poker. We also presented the new “Neostan” cabinet with LED lighting, and the “Semerki” kit of seven American-style games ,” said Alexandr, representative of Belatra. .

At the same time, the RGW floor hosted a theme onference with leading industry specialists. The Business event program was divided into several theme blocks:

•Sochi gambling zone: expert opinion;

•Bookmakers: changes to regulation;

•Real casinos and acting gambling zones experience for Sochi gambling zone;

•Sochi gambling zone development: expert predictions;

•Online gambling innovations

Expert speakers at the Conference included Zhanna Grigoryeva (Sochi  authorities representative), Yuriy Barzykin (Russian Travel Union Vice-President), Michael Boettcher (Storm International  President), Konstantin Makarov (СРО President of bookmaking) and many more. Moderators: Elena Botvinnikova, ALexandr Dobrov.

Zhanna Grigoryeva was one of the most eagerly-awaited speakers at the Conference, being the Director of Powers Implementation Department for Preparation and Holding of the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup, FIFA 2018 World Cup and other  events of the Sochi municipal administration. Unfortunately, she couldn’t answer the question that had been of quite interest for the audience, namely “Where will be the gambling zone constructed?”, not because she hasn’t been preparing for presentation or lack of competence, but because legislative process is not finished and it’s still early for making specific statements.

Nevertheless, she said: “Some kind of new construction is not planned. Existing objects could be modernized if it is mentioned in the law and complies with requirements. Existing infrastructure and lack of construction needs is a factor that promises a quick gambling zone launch.”

Yuriy Barzykin, Russian Travel Union Vice-President, noted that one or two casinos could be open in Sochi zone next spring, and their ‘home’ might be the Krasnaya Polyana mountain cluster.

Poker Club Management Executive Artur Voskanyan told about the potential role of poker tournaments in Sochi casinos. Russia has at least ten thousand poker players, so casino poker will provide  great additional visitor traffic.

Michael Boettcher, Storm International  President,  became a star of the program. The company manages Shangri La casino in Tbilisi, Erevan and Minsk, slot halls in Germany, Belarus and Romania etc.

Boettcher gave a detailed one-hour presentation with data and analytics of the future gambling zone. During his presentation, there was not enough space in the hall for everyone – so many people wanted to listen to the expert. Everybody wanted to talk to Mr. Boettcher, and in spite of his busy schedule, he devoted his time to everyone. The speaker explained that the key condition for the Sochi cluster success was that casinos should be located in the city center, and gambling houses could be located only at 5-star hotels.

As part of the conference, there was also a roundtable devoted to discussing the real casino experience from acting gambling zones. Its participants were represented by casinos from Italy, Austria, Turkey, Georgia. During the discussion, all speakers – Lavrentiy Gubin (Shangri La), Peter Hötzinger (Century Casinos, Inc), Carlo Pagan (Campione d’ Italia) – addressed the topic of gambling taxation and shared useful practical advices and real numbers.

Although on exhibition floor  not many companies were present, organizers pointed out that this was just the beginning of the bright RGW Sochi future. 

The great attention given from the mass media to RGW Sochi proves the event was run efficiently In particular, journalists were interested in Conference speaker line-up: authorities, international experts, investors and business owners. Exhibitors were happy to visit Sochi, as their products and services did not go unnoticed.

“At Russian Gaming Week Sochi, our company presented a virtual casino that attracted a lot of visitors. Our booth has a monitor showing the image in the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, so one could choose chips, make bets and other actions. Also, we have drawn a bet-accepting website among visitors,” said Alexandr Semenko, Betroniс co-founder.

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