Russia is a rising power in land-based casinos

By Mia Chapman Updated
Russia is a rising power in land-based casinos

Russia is ready to become a big player in the casino industry, building its very own “Las Vegas” according to reports in Chiang Rai Times.

Economic rivals should be poised for a gaming industry that is changing and growing, with most developed countries shifting their stance in recent times thanks to more flexible legal frameworks.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin prohibited gambling in 2009, but enabled four areas of the country to issue casino or gambling licences.

At the same time, he promised to turn at least one of those places into Russia’s very own Las Vegas.

Country officials have chosen one very particular area of its new entertainment venture – Far East Primorsky.

Primorsky is an exciting place for investors, with the Russian government already investing US$1.7 billion into the region.

There is plenty of interest in this latest casino venture, with Hong Kong billionaire Lawrence Ho, the man behind the biggest casino venue sin Macau, Cyprus and the Philippines involved in this project.

Plans on schedule – vice governor

The regions vice governor believes that up to 20 casino brands will be present in the area by 2023.

Local government is working tirelessly to acquire new investors after Putin’s assurances that the region will become a gambling hot spot.

The ‘Gambling Zone’ will be one of the leading operations regions in the country, with vice governor Konstantin Shestakov saying the area is the final stage of constructing two new entertainment complexes with casinos.

“An investor from Cambodia is completing an 11-storey hotel with a casino and a concert hall, while a Russian investor, Shambhala CJSC, will launch its casino tentatively in March 2020. Workers are already finishing the building,” he said.

The entire project is under the control of the Primorsky Krai Development Corporation JSC.

The vice governor made assurances in a media release that everything is flowing smoothly and that 11 new facilities will be operational by the 2023 deadline.

Both the Gambling Zone and the Russian government have put a lot of hope in these facilities.

Officials expect to see an increase in the number of tourists visiting the country, with promotional programs already undertaken to attract regular Japanese tourists to the area.

The Zone will be one of the first innovative developments in the country, after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

At the moment, there are four gambling regions in Russia – Altai, Krasnodar, Kaliningrad and Primorsky.

Mohegan enters unchartered territory in Vegas

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment is set to become the first tribal casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip after entering into a multi-year agreement with JC Hospitality to manage the gaming space at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas when it opens next year.

Asgam reported in September that the rebranded 1,500-room property will replace the current Hard Rock Hotel and Casino after it was purchased by billionaire Richard Branson in March.

Under its deal, Mohegan will operate the 60,000-square foot gaming floor upon completion of redevelopment and pending the company gaining regulatory approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Mohegan operates flagship, Mohegan Sun, in Connecticut plus Mohegan Sun Pocono, Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City and Ilani Resort in Washington.

It is also developing its first Asian integrated resort, Inspire, in South Korea and is actively preparing a bid for a second Asian property in Hokkaido, Japan.

“Aligning the MGE brand with Virgin Hotels Las Vegas extends our growing reach into yet another legendary global entertainment capital.”

“Together with Virgin Hotels, experience seekers all over the world will have the opportunity to partake in an extraordinary guest journey that only our strategic alliance can deliver,” said Mohegan’s chief executive officer, Mario Kontomerkos.

“Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, as an extension of the Mohegan Tribe, pride themselves on traditional principles, in sync with modern values,” added Richard Bosworth, President and chief executive officer of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino owner JC Hospitality LLC.

“We are excited that Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be their first entry in the Las Vegas market.”

The eight-month renovation of the property is set to begin in early February next year, with the relaunch expected before the turn of the 2021 calendar year.

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