Diamond Fortune unveil Primorye casino plans; Azov City gaming zone reprieve?

diamond-fortune-selena-sun-resort-casinoCasino developer Diamond Fortune Holdings has unveiled plans for its gaming project in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone.

On Thursday, Diamond Fortune execs released details of their $900m Selena World Resort & Casino project, which is slated to join Lawrence Ho’s Tigre de Cristal casino, as well as in-development projects from NagaCorp and Royal Time Group in the gaming zone on Russia’s east coast near Vladivostok.

Diamond Fortune says Selena will comprise three distinct venues – Golden Gate, Moon Gate and Sun Casino & Resort – spread across 174k-square-meters of land. The company expects to commence construction of the Sun complex this month, while the two Gate properties won’t get underway until 2018.

Sun Casino & Resort (artist’s impression pictured) will consist of two hotels – one four-star, one five-star – totaling 900 rooms, while its gaming floor will boast 375 gaming tables and 1,800 slot machines.

Golden Gate will comprise three buildings offering 576 hotel rooms, 200 gaming tables and 2,100 slots. The property will also feature a 350-meter-long ski slope. Moon Gate will span two buildings offering 460 rooms, 110 tables and 1,100 slots.

Diamond Fortune marketing director Grzegorz Ash said the company was targeting a customer mix of 50% Russians and 50% international tourists. The company said its focus was not strictly gaming-related but rather to offer “diverse family vacation.” Each of the three complexes will feature a mix of retail, dining and entertainment options, including cinemas and wellness spas.

The Sun venue is tentatively scheduled to open to the public late in 2017. Last October, Russian officials scolded Diamond Fortune for delays in putting shovels into the ground, warning that unless they started pouring the foundation before the end of March, the company’s investment agreement could be scrapped.

Meanwhile, casino operators in Russia’s Azov City gaming zone in the Krasnodar region are pleading for a stay of execution. In January 2015, Russia announced that it would revoke gaming privileges in Azov City, one of only four zones in which Russia permitted casinos to operate, in order to approve new zones in Sochi and the recently annexed Crimea region.

The three casinos currently doing business in Azov City have been negotiating with the Krasnodar government and officials in Moscow regarding a reprieve of their shutdown order, which was supposed to take effect last April. The casino operators – who include Royal Time Group – also launched legal proceedings seeking compensation for the loss of their businesses.

Last week, the Krasnodar Territory Property Relations Department announced that the federal Ministry of Finance was crafting a draft law that would postpone the shutdown date until the end of 2018. The law could also stipulate compensation for casino operators, although no promises were made.