Russian resort town of Sochi, home to the Winter Olympic Games 2014, will be hosting Russian Gaming Week in November.
Sochi was chosen to host this year’s conference to showcase the resort town to industry leaders after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in July officially designating Crimea and Sochi as new gambling zones, in a bid to turn the Russian Black Sea resort town into a popular tourist destination.
Next month’s RGW Sochi Expo will feature discussions regarding the town’s capacity to become a successful gambling zone, including debates on the possibility of foreign casino operators coming to Sochi and the level of competition these Russian gambling zones could have on each other.
Other designated gambling zones have attracted foreign investors, particularly Vladivostok, which has signed off on casino projects from Melco Crown Entertainment and NagaCorp.
Russian authorities have busted thousands of illegal gambling houses in the past five years
Meanwhile, if there was ever any doubt about Russia’s rather overzealous approach in implementing its ban on illegal gambling houses, the number of illegal gambling houses it has busted in the past five years will squash those doubts away.
A report from Russian news agency TASS quoted the prosecutor general’s office saying that since the country enacted “Federal Law No 244” in July 1, 2009 banning casinos outside four gambling zones, authorities have done checks on over 108,000 facilities throughout the country. Of those checks, 72,000 illegal gambling houses and 822 underground casinos have been busted.
Furthermore, law enforcement authorities from Russia have also confiscated close to 1 million units of gambling equipment, on top of the 50 thousand chiefs of these gambling halls, all of whom have been fined a collective amount of $17.2 million.