VLADIVOSTOK, July 16 (RIA Novosti) - A Macao gambling magnate is ready to finance construction of a $130 million casino resort in Russia’s Primorye entertainment zone in the Far East, a regional administration spokesman said on Tuesday.
Lawrence Ho has agreed to build a 120-room hotel and casino with 65 gambling tables and 800 gaming machines, the spokesman said.
“Agreement for the project’s financing was reached Tuesday at a meeting of the Primorye Territory governor with representatives of Melco International Development, which belongs to Mr. Ho,” a regional administration spokesman said. The two sides intend to sign a preliminary agreement at the Far Eastern investment congress in Vladivostok on September 6-7, the spokesman added.
“Earlier, Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd., one of the world’s leading entertainment companies, which also belongs to Lawrence Ho, signaled its readiness to act as a co-investor for the project,” the spokesman said. “According to foreign media, this company will acquire 46 percent in the casino resort and another 5 percent will be bought by Melco International Development. The other 49 percent will be controlled by Russian citizens Oleg Drozdov and Alexei Simanchuk,” he added.
The Primorye integrated entertainment zone in the Muraviynaya Bay near Vladivostok will be part of a regional tourism cluster expected to attract up to 10-12 million tourists annually, the spokesman said.
Since 2009, casinos and other gaming establishments can only operate in four remote designated areas, in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, south Siberia's Altai Territory, Primorye in the Far East, and in southern Russia near the Sea of Azov.