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Gaming Business Association asks everybody concerned with maintaining of civilized gaming business in Russia for cooperation

Gambling zones without gambling

It is hard to get even one positive news concerning the gambling business from Russia lately. All hopes for the change of the Parliament’s opinion towards gambling and gaming machines have been burned together with many statements of President Putin just before the Sunday elections that the decisions about the gambling zones creation are final.

The businessmen, though, are relentless, or maybe the simply act according to the rule saying that the hope dies the last. On November 3rd, in Moscow, has ended the long expected conference Russian Real Esteta Market 2007- 1st Dealmakers Forum, during which on the separate session time was devoted to the gambling zones.

The “Gambling Zones” session’s moderator was vice-president of the Gambling Business Activists Association, Evgeniyy Kovtun. Apart from the association, which took part as the co-organizer of the meeting, also the guests have appeared: the former governor of the Nevada state, Bob Miller, the representatives of the biggest gambling companies in Russia Storm International, Rizio Entertainment Group, Megatron and many others, which are interested in the business development.

Evgeniyy Kovtun has, in a very detailed way, presented to the gathered problems of the Russian gambling business and means of realization of the Federal Act’s main concept ‘on the state regulating the activity and organization of the gambling games’ No. 244. The act constitutes four special gambling zones, to which the whole business should be moved till July 1st 2009. According to him, the self-governmental authorities have made enough for the gambling zones to come into the phase of project, but the zones localizations have been chosen unfavorably and frighten off the potential investors (as is well-known the whole Russian gambling business is to be concentrated in four zones: on the borders of Rostovsk and Krasnodarsk provinces, in Primorsk province, Kaliningrad province and in Altai province).

“Our association’s position in reference to the gambling zones hasn’t changed. Generally, the zones and cities of gambling may be created in every part or the country, but is it worth the trouble? Will it be worth to spend means from the federal budgets in the situation, where we don’t know the profitability calculation of any of the projects? In our opinion, the new make-up of Duma should study the experiences of various countries of the world from the range of law regulation in the sphere of gambling and apply in Russia only the best. It will bring profits to the country, people and our business” explained Kovtun.

Next performed the former governor of Nevada state, Bob Miller. He has told the story of Las Vegas origination and enumerated the rules, which manage creation of such projects. Asked if the gambling zones are interesting for the American investors, he has answered that until clear and stable complex solutions are to be guaranteed by the Government, the interest will remain only the interest.

The representatives of Storm International and Rizio Entertainment Group have taken the floor in turn, and they have criticized extreme distance of the zones form the financial centers in the country. They have also announced that their new investments are located only abroad. So they do not intend to invest in unprofitable and unreal projects.

In his final performance, Evgeniyy Kovtun has remind to the gathered the project of complex solutions for gambling zones proposed by 4 governors, are yet in the Parliament and wait to be approved. After their approval we may be talking about concrete law regulations, grounds sale rules, plots valuation, gaining proper building permissions. About all that, what gives guarantee to investments.

Despite the best intentions of the organizers, the least number of officials and Parliament representatives appeared there. Without any doubts they were busy with the matters of the forthcoming elections.

We will be following, of course, the situation and inform our Readers about the latest relations from the Russian market, but remember though, that the bears in Russia are already sleeping with long and tough winter dream. And so will be till the presidential elections in March next year.

Agata Wozna

Correspondence of the Gambling Business Activists Association

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