Despite hopes of investors, a casino expansion looks unlikely
Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated his opposition to turning Sochi into a legal gambling zone during a statement on Monday. According to Russian gambling laws, gambling is legal only in four special zones. Some have recently called for a fifth zone to be created encompassing Sochi.
Putin cited the popularity of the Black Sea resort city as a destination for families, as well as the current existence of a Black Sea gambling zone. Read the statement:
“We already have a gambling zone on the border between the Rostov Region and the Krasnodar Territory, and we even allowed them to access the Black Sea coast. In my opinion, it would be impractical to set up another zone in the region… (and) would create an atmosphere that would prevent our citizens from spending their holiday here with their families.”
Investors hope to capitalize on Olympic development
The statement came as many investors have clamored for legalized gambling to capitalize on recent infrastructure investments preparing the city for the 2014 Olympics. Russia tightened gambling laws in 2009, and does not appear willing to loosen restrictions. In addition to only four casino gambling zones, internet gambling in Russia is also illegal.
If new gambling zones are created, they won’t include Sochi.