Russian gambling zones
Since 2009 gambling business in Russia except betting houses, totalizators and lotteries has been relocated to gambling zones. This measure was dictated by the Federal Law №244-FZ of December 29, 2006.
After it came into force, casinos and slot machine halls were allowed only in designated zones, which were arranged far away from heavily-populated towns.
Nominally there are six gambling zones in Russian Federation, including those under construction and those that are to be closed down. In practice, as of December 2015, gambling houses operate only in three of them.
“Azov-city” (in operation) is the first zone launched with three casinos. In 2014 it was decided to withdraw it in favour of gambling zone in Sochi. Thus the first zone is kept in suspense: the issue of compensation to operators who have already invested in construction remains open.
“Sochi” (planned) is a gambling zone, which was decided to be created in 2014, when the State Duma passed a special bill introduced by the president. However this zone is still subject to debate, and of course nobody mentions the opening dates of the first institutions.
“Yantarnaya”(under construction) is a gambling zone in Kaliningrad region that fell short of expectations. There were hopes for foreign tourists and construction of twenty hotels, but investors didn’t get interested in this project. Opening dates of the first facility are being postponed, now at least till the summer 2016.
“Primorye” (in operation) is built at 70 km from Vladivostok. The first casino, which appeared to be the largest in Russia, was opened in November, 2015. Other projects will be commissioned one after another starting from the middle of 2016.This zone is intended for tourists from PR China, where gambling is prohibited on the majority of territories.
“Siberian Coin” (in operation) is a gambling zone in Altai territory with a single operating casino. In 2015 it was visited by 17 000 players.
“Crimea” (planned) will be constructed presumably in Gaspra on the South Coast of the Crimea. The project needs to undergo approval and coordination procedures before the beginning of construction. Commencement of works is expected not until the second half of 2016.