Support The Moscow Times!

Casino Gets Liquidated by Russian Gambling Reform

New Russian legislation on gambling zones will force a major casino to close only five years after it opened, incurring billions of rubles in costs that will have to be reimbursed by Moscow, the Vedomosti newspaper reported.

Tenants of "Azov-City," a gambling zone in the Krasnodar region in southern Russia, have until April 1 to vacate the premises before the site's liquidation, according to a letter sent to them by the regional government, the paper said.

The closure is based on a law passed last year that forbids gambling zones from operating in the area outside of Sochi, which is also in the Krasnodar region. The law, created in an attempt to ensure that massive spending on Sochi's infrastructure for the 2014 Olympics did not got to waste, has yet to lead to any firm plans to build gambling facilities in Sochi.

Azov-City, one of the only gambling zone proposals out of many to win approval in Russia, had no domestic competitors other than "Siberian Coin" in the Altai region, thousands of kilometers away.

According to the paper the Finance Ministry estimated that the government will have to return around 10 billion rubles ($145 million) to investors for liquidating the zone, which began operations in 2010.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.