Russia pushes forward with bill to turn Crimea into gambling zone

RussiaThose whispers of turning Crimea into a gambling zone apparently aren’t unfounded. Russian president Vladimir Putin has given his approval to plans of legalizing gambling in the recently-annexed territory, submitting a draft bill to parliament that would designate Crimea as a fully legal gambling zone.

A little over a month ago, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak was heading serious discussions on how Russia could stimulate Crimea’s economy after the breakaway region seceded from Ukraine in March and one of those scenarios was turning it into a gambling zone.

Russia is swiftly trying to incorporate Crimea by jumpstarting its economy. A bridge that will connect the region to mainland Russia has been green lighted, communication lines are being laid down and suggestions have been made of turning Crimea into a special economic zone that will create special tax breaks for foreign companies.

Should the bill pass, the next objective on the table is planning on how best to proceed with establishing a gambling industry in Crimea. That point was touched on by the region’s acting leader Sergei Aksyonov, who told the Itar-Tass news agency that plans are being put in place to build a specific gambling center in one location, instead of merely allowing gambling to happen anywhere on the peninsula.

Here’s the catch, though: how many of these casino operators are willing to jump in on this new gambling zone given the rather contentious way Russia occupied and ultimately annexed the region out of the Ukraine’s hands?