First casino opens in Primorye gambling zone

Primorye Gambling Zone

The first casino in the far eastern Primorye gambling zone –  that is being billed as Russia’s answer to Macao  – opened for business this week. Owned and developed by G1 Entertainment, The Tigre de Cristal casino is the largest in Russia so far and is expected to create new jobs and  boost tourism and economic growth in the region,  Corporate Finance and Strategy Director Eric Landheer said at the opening ceremony.
The decision to create the Primorye gambling zone close to Vladivostok was taken by the Russian government in 2009, when it outlawed gambling in Russia with the exception of six special zones. So far, only two of those  zones — Azov-City in Krasnodar and Siberian Coin in Altai  — have managed to turn their special status into money-making entertainment complexes, but Primorye’s proximity to the Asian markets has helped it to attract major Asian investors such as Melco and the Malaysian NagaCorp Ltd. Other investors in the project also include local Royal Time Primorye and Diamond Fortune Holdings Prim.
As well as the casino, the 620-ha gambling zone will also include 15 hotels, 12 guest villas, a yacht club, a multifunctional trade and exhibition centre, and several cinemas. The project is due to be completed in 2022. Four investment contracts worth $1.75bn  have been signed so far, according to the authorities.