|Numerous media sources are reporting that a stay of execution may be in the works for the Russian casino industry from a Government plan to move their operations to four remote parts of the country.|
In 2006, Russian legislators passed a plan from President Vladimir Putin creating four special gambling zones and requiring all casinos to relocate before June of next year. After that date, any gambling activity outside these zones, which consist of the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, the Altai Republic bordering Kazakhstan and Mongolia, the Primorie District around Vladivostok and the Rostov and Krasnodar regions on the Black Sea coast bordering the Ukraine, would be illegal.
However, press reports from Russia suggest that the casino industry’s constant lobbying of Parliament for an extension may be bearing fruit. These sources suggest that a delay in enforcing the law until 2014 may be in the works, although there has not yet been any official confirmation.
In addition, officials have suggested uniting casinos and tourism in the country with the Public Chamber of Russia asserting that gambling and travel businesses should work together. The group used the United States as an example as many gambling jurisdictions unite with Indian reservations in order to mix the influx of tourists to the reservations with those interested in gambling.
It stated that one of its plans was to use the infrastructure being built in the southern Russian city of Sochi in advance of the 2014 Winter Olympics in order to create a gambling zone.