Russian resort town of Sochi, home to the Winter Olympic Games 2014, would be hosting the Russian Gaming Week in November.
Sochi to host Russian Gaming Week; Russia busts 72,000 illegal gambling dens in five yearsThe decision to tab Sochi as the host of this year’s conference was to showcase the resort town to industry leaders after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in July officially designating Crimea and Sochi as new gambling zones.
The Sochi gambling zone is within the boundaries of the Olympic facilities with the hopes of turning the Russian Black Sea resort town into a popular tourist destination.
Next month’s RGW Sochi Expo will feature discussions regarding the town’s capacity to become a successful gambling zone, including debates on the possibility of foreign casino operators coming to Sochi and the level of competition these Russian gambling zones could have on each other.
Other designated gambling zones have attracted foreign investors, particularly Vladivostok, which has signed off on casino projects from Melco Crown Entertainment and NagaCorp. It remains to be seen whether Sochi will be able to get that kind of attention, although its safe to say that a lot will be learned when the resort town hosts the Russian Gaming Week next month.
Meanwhile, if there was ever any doubt about Russia’s rather overzealous approach in implementing its ban on illegal gambling houses, the number of illegal gambling houses it has busted in the past five years will squash those doubts away.
A report from Russian news agency TASS quoted the prosecutor general’s office saying that since the country enacted “Federal Law No 244” in July 1, 2009 banning casinos outside four gambling zones, authorities have done checks on over 108,000 facilities throughout the country. Of those checks, 72,000 illegal gambling houses and 822 underground casinos have been busted.
Furthermore, law enforcement authorities from Russia have also confiscated close to 1 million units of gambling equipment, on top of the 50 thousand chiefs of these gambling halls, all of whom have been fined a collective amount of $17.2 million.