Russia’s Primorye casino zone development picks up the pace

russia-primorye-casino-zone-nagacorpCambodian casino operator NagaCorp has broken ground on its $369m resort casino project in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone near Vladivostok.

Local news outlets recently carried photos of NagaCorp president Tan Sri Dr Chen Lip Keong presiding over a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Russian casino. NagaCorp chairman Tim McNally subsequently confirmed to GGRAsia that the first of the project’s planned three phases was indeed officially underway.

McNally said the project’s first phase, which the company expects to open “not later than 2018” had a budget of between $150m to $200m. Renowned Las Vegas casino architects Steelman Partners are guiding NagaCorp’s project, which a local Primorye news outlet said was using the working title of Seaside Entertainment Resorts City.

Lawrence Ho’s Primorye project is scheduled to open next month. The Tigre de Cristal property, which is being developed by the Ho-controlled First Gambling Company of the East, plans to open its first phase on Aug. 28 (although the project has a history of missing deadlines).

There are two other projects confirmed for the Primorye casino zone, including the $914m Selena World Resort & Casino, which is being developed by Russian firm Diamond Fortune Holdings Prim. Construction has reportedly started on the project’s 10-hectare first phase, although the work to date is reportedly only at the forest-clearing stage.

The final project comes courtesy of Russia’s Royal Time Group, which has also enlisted Steelman Partners to aid its progress. The first phase of Royal Time’s Phoenix resort will feature 30 gaming tables and 500 slots when it opens in 2017. Subsequent phases will boost those numbers to 150 tables and 3k slots by 2021. Non-gaming amenities will include an indoor water park, a 1,500-seat theater, a spa as well as restaurants, clubs and retail options.

Royal Time currently operates the Oracul casino in the Azov-City casino zone in the Krasnodar region. (The Russian government had announced that it would scrap the zone this spring in favor of a new zone in the Sochi region, although no action has reportedly yet been taken on this front.) Royal Time is also developing a casino in the Yantarnaya casino zone in the Kaliningrad region, the first phase of which it expects to open before the year is through.