Frosty reception for casino market in Russia

Officials in Crimea are soon to start accepting bids for qualified gaming operators and allowing the development of hotels and tourist attractions, reported this week.
Crimea was controversially annexed by the Russian Government from Ukraine in February 2014.
The planned Crimea gaming zone, a part of Russia’s Krasnodar Krai region, is expected to be designated for nearby Yalta, a popular resort city.
Stamina for Russia’s gaming market has been reportedly low.
Last month, local casino investor Lawrence Ho Yau Lung pulled out from his stake in Tigre de Cristal, a Summit Ascent Holdings’ operation in the country’s Far East near Vladivostok.
The company, which is a subsidiary of Melco International, was also reported in October 2016 as having no interest in bidding for Crimea.
Instability in the region and an unpredictable Russian Government have been appointed as reasons dissuading international renowned casino companies which have operations in Macau such as MGM, Wynn and Sands, from bidding in the Russian market.
Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the development of four gaming zones in 2014, having ruled out casinos and gaming operations throughout the country in 2009.
The most developed is the Primorsky Krai, where Tigre de Cristal is located.
The area - supposed to become Russia’s version of the Las Vegas Strip - has only one casino in operation and vacant land plots were have been recently auctioned off.
Casino development in the two other licensed areas, the Kaliningrad Oblast and Altai Krai, is nearly non-existent