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Russia to open gambling zone in Crimea

Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia, has signed a government decree establishing the Golden Coast gambling zone in Yalta, Crimea. The gambling zone is expected to be operational by 2022.

The gambling zone will be located in the village of Katsiveli, close to Yalta on the south coast on an area of 146, 851 square meters.

“All decisions (on the Crimea gambling zone) have been fully executed and all agreements will be concluded this year. The site (for the gambling zone) has already been determined at a public hearing. By November, all formal procedures must be completed. Preparations on the site have already started. We must complete everything in two years,” explained Sergei Aksyonov, current administrator of Crimea.

He added that logistics indicate that the tourists would arrive at the Belbek airport and then drive around 70 kilometres to the southern coast of Crimea. He added that with the help of investors, authorities would organise the gambling zone according to world standards.

However, the financial sanctions which were imposed on the country after the 2014 Crimea invasion and the ban on Crimea-based investments, which the European Union recently extended for one more year, could heavily limit the number of gambling operators that might establish a casino in the new gaming zone.

It’s been speculated that only gambling operators that are likely to come up with a proposal for a Crimean casino will be either Russian or from a nation which has been keeping its friendly political relations with Russia, such as Cambodia or China. The Cambodian gambling operator NagaCorp is currently making preparations to launch its Naga Vladivostok casino project in the east Primorye gaming zone next year.

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