MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Federal Council Wednesday passed a bill allowing the creation of gambling zones in Crimea and Sochi.
Gambling has been banned for five years in Russia, everywhere except four special zones: near Vladivostok, in the Atlai, near Kaliningrad and on the Azov Sea coast in southern Russia.
Crimea previously had a gambling ban as well. According to a new law, local authorities can choose the location and define the borders of the future zone.
The Crimean leadership has already said it will either spread the gambling facilities across the peninsula, or build their own Las Vegas amidst its resorts on the southern coast of Crimea, between the cities of Yalta and Alushta.
Russian lawmakers suggest that opening the gambling zone in Crimea will attract additional investment to the region, create new jobs and increase the number of tourists. The move should also contribute to the development of the hotel industry and food service sector.
In Sochi, casinos are to be located near the Olympic village. The new law is expected to provide local authorities with effective ways of using the facilities.