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CR82-p10-Europe CE&CIS2:SJC-Casino Review 26/7/09 09:39 Page 1
Russian president justifies ‘modern conditions’
If it was at all possible for Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to have distanced
himself further from Russia’s beleaguered former casino owners he did so by likening
gambling to drug addiction in a speech shown by video link at the Seliger camp
for pro-Kremlin youth activists. “In our country, unfortunately in the years of our
new life, a huge quantity of gambling establishments were created where people
spent hours frittering away their money,” Medvedev said. “This kind of addiction
EUROPE CENTRAL, EAST & CIS is very similar to drug dependence, and our task today is to create modern
conditions so that such a business can only exist in restricted gaming zones.”
New games and
opportunities but
nothing catching
in Moscow
Following Russia’s ban on casinos and the
Casino de Paris, are engaged facilities as lottery systems.”
inability of any of the proposed gambling
in discussions with The Feder- One entrepreneur was Korston to fly
ation of Competitive Prefer- touting the idea of slots
zones to be anywhere near ready, Russian ence on what poker without cash prizes at a recent Russians over to its
gamblers are having to scour the city’s
tournaments would entail in gaming exhibition in Moscow,
streets for gambling opportunities. Whilst
terms of certifying staff and where a player pays for the imi- Queen of Montenegro
equipment and CCTV. Strom tation of the game for amuse-
one opportunity is being provided in the
spokesperson Lavrenty Gubin ment. Alexander Strokov,
comfort of their living rooms another
added that of the company’s manager of developer Semula- relocation refurbished and refitted in
five casinos, Jazz Town and tor, said that players don’t win MONTENEGRO accordance with modern
involves chartering a private jet.
Shangri-La were the most or lose but just pay for their international standards,
likely to offer poker as part of time on the machine. He said Russian hotel and casino although it will not be
minimigrations ferences between slot players their entertainment offering. sales had grown recently in specialist Korston is to closed down to do this.
RUSSIA and poker players. Several casinos such as the Moscow suburbs. become the majority Anatoliy Kuznecov,
Other channels are set to be Paris owned by Korston had Whilst Deputy Moscow shareholder in Montenegrin president of Korston, has
Already, just a few weeks after launched as interest grows. previously been operating Mayor Sergei Baidakov said hotel group The Queen of already confirmed that he
the death bell tolled for the CTC Media is in discussions tournaments. It currently has that 95 per cent of casinos and Montenegro, a group which will be opening a casino in
existing Russian casino sector, with French-owned produc- six tables but is planning to slot machine halls had owns a four star hotel of the Budva, Montenegro and has
entrepreneurs have been tion company Intelegencia to increase this to 22 in the near removed their equipment fol- same name in Becici on the said he plans to charter
looking to capture the imagina- produce its own poker show. future. lowing the ban, some are ignor- Budva Riveriera. wealthy Russians over to
tions of local gamblers with Around 30 per cent of the Aside from poker some ing the law all together. Discussions over a E37m Montenegro. When casinos
other forms of betting. 32 casinos recently closed in slot operators are looking to Raids at the Luzhniki market deal are believed to have were banned from Turkey
The blanket ban, in every- Moscow are hoping poker tour- exploit lottery laws to cir- in Moscow resulted in police entered their final stage and many operators moved to
where but the four remote naments will fill the gambling cumnavigate the ban. confiscating 18 slot machines The Queen of Montenegro Turkish controlled areas of
zones, does not apply to lotter- void. The Federal Sports Agency Galina Stolyarova, a journal- whilst the Zolotoi Arbuz slot general manager of the nearby Cyprus to develop
ies, bookmakers and poker categorised poker, including ist at the St Petersburg Times, machine hall close to the Petro- company, Dragan Ivancevic, junkets for their old players.
clubs, but following the imme- Seven-Card Stud Poker, Omaha said: “The Russian law on lot- vsko-Razumovskaya metro expected negotiations to be Currently, there are two
diacy of the ban, player confu- and Texas Hold'em, as a ‘sport’ teries is at present full of loop- station was shut down after complete by mid July. casinos in Montenegro, in
sion as to where they can bet in June 2007. holes and so vague that it does openly operating despite the Korston’s main interest in Budva and Przno, but more
has led to a surge in activity on One Gaming Business Asso- not even contain a consistent ban coming into effect. the hotel, which overlooks are set to open. In 2007 the
betting television channels. ciation official said that poker description of what consti- Some of Moscow’s bigger the Adriatic and boasts 210 government ruled that a
Poker Stars, a TV poker doesn’t have any connection tutes lottery facilities. Some venues, meanwhile, have double and single rooms, 21 maximum of 14 could be
show, was launched in October to the gambling business, on businessmen are using this simply removed their slots and family rooms, five suites, operated. Dzek Pot, owned
last year by Ren-TV, and has the back of which several lack of legal clarity to their tables and are continuing to and nine president suites, is by Sava Grbovic has
seen its audience figures operators, including Storm short-term advantage, classify- offer food and beverage and the casino. another casino in a hotel
increase in the build up to the International, Kosmos and ing slot-machines and other nightclub facilities. “Our Austrian partners called Crna Gora in
casino ban. Spokesman Anton Storm International is still left two years ago which is Podgorica. Grbovic also
Nazarov is confident these operating the Manhattan the reason why we were not holds a 92 per cent
figures will continue to climb Grill room and the Liberty able to provide any quality majority stake in a
following the ban. “There’s no Café coffee shop in its New development in the project, company called Lutrija
doubt that the predicted York casino, whilst Jazz Town therefore, we were looking Crne Gore (the Lottery of
growth of interest in poker as a is being run as an exclusive for a strategic partner in the Montenegro) which is
sport in our country will attract nightclub. same business area,” opening a casino in the
new viewers,” he said. Tapping into the old saying Ivancevic said. Splendid hotel in
Poker Style Group already that one man’s loss is another “Negotiations with Korston partnership with the US
broadcasts a twice-weekly man’s gain, one London oper- Group on recapitalisation company Playboy.
show on channel Sport. Erik ator is offering have been ongoing for The independent World
Shakhbazyan, CEO, said the Russian high rollers a several months.” Travel and Tourism Council
ratings were very good and package to fly them to play in The casino is currently has ranked Montenegro as
that TV was one of the best its high end Les Ambassadeurs. run by a company called the fastest growing tourism
mediums to market poker but It would cost from $8,000 per Dzek Pot (Jack Pot) from destination in the world.
didn’t believe there was going person to fly from Moscow via Podgorica. Following Budva is also renowned for
to be mass migration of casino
Players in the Metelitsa in Moscow
private jet and then be chauf- completion of the deal, the the number of its
players to poker citing the dif- feured to the casino. casino is expected to be millionaire residents.
Bulgaria eyeing Russian opportunity
fillingthevoid casino-loving Russian ‘golden opportunity’ for Bul- large scale casino should be
BULGARIA tourists would ‘be the prime garia to become a ‘Las Vegas built to service high rollers.
saviours of this summer's for Russian gamblers.’ “Rich Russians would only
An influx of Russian tourism holiday season at the Bulgar- However, Blagoy Ragin, come if there was a mega
is expected to be generated ian seaside.’ chair of the Bulgarian Hotel- casino, giant, luxurious, and
in Bulgarian seaside resorts With reports suggesting and Restaurant-Keepers Asso- with a lot of extras.”
due to the ban in Russia on that Russian operators were ciation, has said that if Bul- He believes the most likely
casinos. also looking to team up with garia really wants to maximise location for its development
Bulgarian businessmen existing Bulgarian casinos, the potential for Russian would be in the western part Casino Kuban in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
were already hoping the the move is being pitched as rubles to enter the country, a of the Sunny Beach resort.
10 August 2009 • europecentraleast&cisnews
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