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CR82-p12-Europe CE&CIS3:SJC-Casino Review 26/7/09 09:40 Page 1
St Petersburg City Hall plays down gambling contributions
The St Petersburg gambling industry has been a modest contributor to the
city’s coffers and won’t be missed according to Lidiya Mamon, head of the
City Hall’s department of state-controlled entrepreneurial activities. She
claimed that in 2008, tax revenues reached around 3.5bn rubles and only
equated to one per cent of the city budget. In the first half of 2009
following many closures it only added up to 1.2bn rubles.She expects
EUROPE CENTRAL, EAST & CIS cafes, restaurants and shops to replace casinos and rental revenues to
compensate for the loss of the gambling income.
Few clues yet
on future
Russian zones
Whilst the use of the word ‘zone’ has caused much mirth amongst native Russian
speakers due to its slang translation of ‘zona’ as ‘prison,’ the lack of investment and
indeed interest is deadly serious. Russia’s huge land mass currently has no legal
casinos and with the zonal proposal in disarray it won’t have any anytime soon.
zoningout deputy executive director of the Poland and Lithuania, is hoping to Krasnodar could be the first zone the site but has not confirmed
RUSSIA Russian Association for Gaming lead the roulette revolution with to confirm its first casino operator any interest.
Business Development.“Ev en those the aim of housing ten casinos. with Kazan company Royal Time Harrah’s has been linked to a
Russia’s casino owners have long who have investments for gaming Alexandra Smirnova, the economic planning to build a casino in Azov- resort on the Azov Sea along with
promoted the view that they have have realised they’d rather take minister of the Kaliningrad region, City by the end of 2009. construction company Asati but
no interest in relocating their busi- their money elsewhere in the ex- argues that ‘the initial scepticism Royal Time head Rudolf little information has been revealed.
ness to any of the new gaming zones Soviet Union or to Latin America. that existed in regard to the plan to Metevosyan said the company has Certainly the Russian operator
and it would seem that few interna- The government doesn’t take any create a gambling zone on the Baltic rented four hectares of land to con- sentiment is clear. Konstantin
tional names if any are willing to responsibility. We have to do every- coast has vanished.’ struct the entertainment facility. Kopylov, the owner of Moscow’s
take the plunge. thing ourselves. More than $40bn “The federal authorities have Altai Deputy Governor Mikhail former venue Kristall, slammed the
The four zones in the Baltic in investment is needed to develop convinced both the regions and Shchetinin has blamed the gam- idea. “Are we going to move? Of
exclave of Kaliningrad, the Altai the gaming zones. They are all at businesses that the project is highly bling industry for the lack of devel- course we are not,” he said. “You
region of Siberia, the Far East area least 100km from the nearest set- attractive and is bound to be a real opment of the so-called Siberian cannot run a business on someone’s
of Primoriye and around the Sea of tlement. It will take 35 years to success,” she said. Coin zone. “Until the gambling busi- wish. Business is run in the areas
Azov in southern Krasnodar earn back the expenses that have However, Solomon Ginzburg, a ness starts co-operating with us, I where a profit can be made.”
region, are almost universally seen already been paid and that’s assum- deputy in the regional Duma, won’t be able to say when the con- Storm spokesman Lavrenty
as being unworkable. ing that the profits of these new said: “There has not been a single struction works will be com- Gubin added: “They are just not
“It's preposterous to think these zones will be the same as in concrete proposal. Seventy pleted,” he said. lucrative for the business. No
replacements could be up and Moscow, which is unlikely.” percent of the Kaliningrad popu- Casinos Austria is believed to wealthy people will go gambling to
running soon,” said Samoil Binder, Kaliningrad, located between lation is against it.” have investigated the potential of a place like Azov.”
Olympic considers court action
following Ukraine closures
Having invested heavily in the
country and then seeing its
casinos closed overnight,
Olympic Entertainment Group
is considering legal action
against the Ukraine govern-
ment in a move which could
see it team up with other oper-
ators to take its case to the
European Commission.
Olympic Entertainment
Group was one of the leading
operators in the country with
23 venues.
Andri Avila, CEO of Olympic
said: “With all casino opera-
tions in Ukraine impossible for
an unspecified period, OEG
has initiated the liquidation mission together with other through the stock exchange.” Although only temporary, accepted the need for small shocked that the government
process of its subsidiaries casino companies operating in In 2004 Olympic spent over the controversial move by steps towards tighter legisla- saw fit to sack 200,000 people
namely Olympic Casino Ukraine. Any losses connected E9m buying five casinos from government and lawmakers tion but have now been left overnight in the middle of a
Ukraine TOV, Ukraine Leisure to the liquidation of our Ukrain- Ukraine operator Eldorado. It to protect citizens hit hard by high and dry trying to back recession and argued that
Company and Eldorado ian subsidiaries are under eval- has since set up a network of the recession will be supple- out of lease agreements, sell whilst legal gaming venues
Leisure Company. OEG is plan- uation and their influence on casinos, investing around mented with legislation in the their properties or decide from legitimate businessmen
ning to demand investments OEG consolidated operating E1m-E2m in each of the 18 coming months. This will what industries to move into have shut down, ones that had
compensation from the results will be published as casinos it has developed itself. restrict gambling to zones, almost over night. always operated illegally
Ukrainian state based on soon as possible. OEG is con- Ukraine has followed in the including Black Sea resorts Grigory Trypulsky, vice- would continue to do so,
investments propitiation and a ducting legal analysis of the footsteps of its Russian neigh- on the Crimean peninsula. president of the Ukrainian having never paid taxes and
mutual protection agreement situation and will plan its future bours by enforcing a ban on Over 100,000 gaming venues Association of Gambling Oper- would be joined by others.
signed between the Estonian actions in accordance with gambling venues with the are believed to have been ators, slammed the ban claim- He blamed political stand-
and the Ukrainian government. analysis of these results. All intention of developing gam- closed with up to 200,000 ing saying that it was a ‘crime ing rather than curing any
We are also considering the circumstances clarifying bling zones to satisfy any gam- employees losing their jobs. against the investment climate social ills as the driving force
turning to the European Com- the situation will be announced bling appetite in the country. Casino owners had and businesses.’ He was behind the man.
12 August 2009 • europecentraleast&cisnews
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