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CR75-p14-15-EuropeCECIS3:SJC-Casino Review 20/12/08 21:28 Page 1
Alsart blooms in Ukraine
Russian manufacturer Alsart Group has confirmed its strategic interest
towards Ukraine’s operating market by opening new venues in Vinnitsa,
Kharkov and Donets, joining the network of 45 halls already in operation.
The group is operating 70 slots in Kharkov alongside classical roulette,
on-line casino, three-level jackpot system and a sports bar. In Donetsk it
is offering 30 slots, roulette, bookmaking office and on-line casino. The
EUROPE CENTRAL, EAST & CIS 400 square meter gaming floor at the Grand Capital casino in Vinnitsa
features 12 gaming tables and 40 slot machines.
Regional tension follows new
Georgian landscape
With Tbilisi’s two established casinos now
labouring under a heavy tax burden,
Georgia’s government is hoping that a
regional development initiative to encourage
casinos in outlying parts of the country will
draw investment. However, infrastructure
problems and wavering investor sentiment
means it is anybody’s guess if and when
casinos will ever operate there. Paul
Rimple of GamblingCompliance reports.
tensionbuilding Adjara’s business, should they
GEORGIA enter the market. “It’s hard to
tell yet how this will affect busi-
The rigorous gaming law intro- ness. But we’re established and
duced by Georgia in 2005, and can afford to compete,” Duffel
its subsequent amendment the said. The Adjara may even
following year, effectively put choose to expand the current
an end to small-time casinos in 50-gaming table casino to the
the capital of Tbilisi. second floor of its building in
The law ‘On Lotteries, Gam- order to boost its competitive-
bling and other Winning ness, he added.
Games’ passed in March 2005, But government officials see
slapping an annual 5m Geor- casino gambling instead as a
gian lari (E2.68m) licensing means of boosting economic
fee on all casinos operating in development away from the
Tbilisi. Additionally, casinos Georgian capital. The head of
must pay a 7,000 GEL monthly Georgia’s Gambling Business
table tax, a 25 percent tax on Regulation Division, Mamuka
total employee salaries, 15 Maziashvili, says the govern- established by city authorities complexes are being built and if gaming development incentives. Casino Berikoni in downtown
percent on casino wins and 12 ment would prefer to move at a rate between 15,000 and they want to open casinos, they “I’m actively lobbying for this.”
Tbilisi, one of two venues left
percent on customer wins. casino gambling away from 29,999 GEL. can,” states Tordia. Whether these regions will
in the capital
“The law wiped out all the Tbilisi, as indicated by recent Batumi is undergoing a rapid The mountain resort of provide gaming venues for
shady five-table places and legislative moves. transition from a crumbling port Borjomi, which made a recent the public remains to be seen popped up all over the city.
guaranteed the government In a measure which contrasts to an exclusive Black Sea bid to host the Winter as the infrastructure has yet Some 470 slot clubs all pay an
10m lari a year,” Julian Duffel, with neighbouring Russia, summer time tourist destina- Olympics, also benefits from to be created. Furthermore, it annual fee of 8,000 GEL and
manager of the Adjara Casino which signed a bill in 2006 to tion. Although the August war the reduced licence fee, is difficult to predict how the monthly machine tax of 250
said. allow gambling only in four des- with Russia reduced 2008’s although nobody has yet weakened global economy GEL. 390 permits were issued
While some 18 casinos had ignated zones in four remote tourist numbers by 22 percent, announced plans to open any and investor confidence fol- between January and June
operated before the law was regions, Georgia has amended Batumi is expecting to see more gaming establishments. lowing the August war will 2008 alone, contributing over
introduced, now only the Adjara legislation to help develop tourists next year as more hotels And in an effort to help rede- play out in Georgia. 3m GEL to the state budget.
and Berekoni casinos continue casinos in Batumi and other are being built to accommodate velop the Soviet era spa of “The government has done But, like casinos, slot clubs
to operate in Tbilisi. However, resort areas as part of a wider the demand. This may mean Tksaltubo in central Georgia, what it can, now it is up to the may also be reduced in Tbilisi.
hotels under construction, such economic development plan. more casinos as well. parliament is offering a restric- private sector to develop busi- Mamuka Maziashvili said more
as the Raddisson and Kempin- For example, the Georgian Lasha Tordia, Deputy Chair of tion-free incentive for casino nesses,” explains David Chu- legislation was in the offing for
sky, have recently announced parliament reduced the annual the Parliamentary Budget and development. The same licence- radze, a leading specialist in the a future parliamentary session,
plans to open casinos. casino licence fee in areas such Finance Committee, welcomes free motivator applies for the budgetary committee. which would include cutting
Duffel, with 20 years in the as Batumi to just 250,000 GEL. anything that will contribute Lake Bazaleti resort in Dusheti, While the 2005 law has cer- the number of slot clubs and
business, claims the market is Presently, there are three tax dollars to the Georgian gov- only 60 km from Tbilisi. tainly curtailed the casino busi- addressing gambling addiction
already spread thinly between casinos operating in the ernment, including casinos. “We “It will be very good for the ness in Tbilisi, it has not affected issues. “We need to synchro-
the two existing casinos and region; the Intourist, Victoria don’t know if there are any plans economy and provide jobs for the capital’s slot machine nise our law to western stan-
that others could severely hurt and Sputnik. Table taxes are to build more casinos, but hotel Georgians,” Tordia says of the parlour businesses, which have dards,” he said.
Merkur opens biggest slot hall in Czech Republic
czechingthesize given a totally new look with Most shopping mall is our integrated into 1,000 square
CZECH REPUBLIC its surface area increased largest location in a meters of exclusive
from 600 square meters to European country outside ambiance. The new design
Merkur Casino, the electronic almost 1,000 square meters. Germany so far. In addition, also takes account of the
casino operating arm of the More than 500 guests the site is the biggest diverse wishes of the players
Gauselmann group, has from politics, culture, sports, electronic casino in the with a VIP area and a chill-
refurbished one of its Czech and entertainment had Czech Republic.” out zone. It is also the first
licences into what it says is accepted the invitation of During several weeks of Merkur casino to feature a
the biggest slot hall in the Rolf Klug, member of the remodeling a cross-media special event zone with a
country and its biggest such board of Gauselmann AG, marketing concept targeted stage area offering live
operation outside of its Rolf Falke, managing director at increasing the visibility, performances.
domestic market. of Merkur-Casino, and recognition and positive Merkur has been
The gaming centre in one country director Patrik image of the arcade chain in operating in the Czech
of the biggest and most Flaisinger to celebrate the re- the Czech Republic was Republic since 1992 and now
modern local shopping opening of the venue. carried out. has 22 venues in the country
centres in the heart of Klug said: “The new The result is almost 150 with seven of them in the
Prague, Cerny Most, was Merkur Casino in the Cerny gaming positions perfectly capital.
14 January 2009 • europecentraleast&cisnews
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