Russian Minister Keen On Developing Primorsky Casino Zone

Russian Minister Keen On Developing Primorsky Casino Zone January 15, 2019 January 15, 2019 Paul Butcher
 Industry January 15, 2019 by Paul Butcher
Konstantin Shestakov

Russians love to gamble but they are allowed to do so in only four permitted economic zones.

The four zones are Krasnodar, Altai, Kaliningrad and Primorsky. The tourism minister for the Primorsky provincial government Konstantin Shestakov recently stressed the importance of boosting the casino industry in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone (IEZ).

The IEZ is situated around 50 kms from Vladivostok which is a port city in Russia’s Far East.

The special zone has a total space of 619 hectares and the government has divided the project into phases into developing a legalized casino industry.

The first phase of the project involves the development of 263 hectares and the setting up of 12 casino projects. The Tigre de Cristal casino is currently the only operating casino in the IEZ and has done rather well for itself since its opening in 2015. Hong Kong based Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd is the company behind the Tigre de Cristal and there are already expansion plans in progress.

The first phase of the IEZ will take a number of years to be completed. The company that is in charge of the development of the IEZ is the Primorsky Krai Development Corp (PDC) which is run by the government. According to their reports, the first phase of the project should be completed by 2025 and a total of $2.7 billion should be pumped into Primorsky by this time.

Casino Zone Important For Tourism Numbers

Shestakov stressed the importance of the IEZ and the vital contribution that it will play in boosting tourism numbers going forward. These casino resorts in the IEZ will not only focus on gaming related activities but will also develop a number of non-gaming activities that tourists will be able to visit and enjoy. Casino operators will develop resorts that include a number of entertainment projects such as water parks, ski parks, entertainment arenas and theme parks.

The tourism minister said that in the last couple of years tourism numbers had doubled. Primorsky registered a total of 643,996 tourists in 2017 which was a 13.3 percent increase when compared to the previous year. More than 50 percent of these tourists came from Mainland China.

Shestakov expects tourists numbers to rise significantly as more casino resorts open in the IEZ. The tourism minister expects an increase in tourists from South Korea and Japan as they look to improve the overall infrastructure by providing more flights and promotional offers to these two countries.

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