Moscow gears up for gambling ban

30 June 2009

MOSCOW, Russia -- As reported by The Moscow Times: "About 4,500 people dropped in on the EELEX International gaming industry exhibition last year. This month, the annual event attracted more than 10,200 — all eager to come to grips with an industry that will be banished to four far-flung regions of Russia from midnight.

"Poker tables and slot machines offering blinking lights but no cash winnings were among the big draws for gambling executives looking for legal means to stay in business once a 2006 law banning casinos and slot machine halls goes into force.

"Deputy Mayor Sergei Baidakov said Monday that the words 'casino' and 'gaming hall' must be removed from Moscow streets and all slot machines must be turned off by 11 p.m. Tuesday, an hour before the midnight deadline.

"After that, gambling in Moscow will be restricted to lotteries, bookmakers and poker in specially licensed sports clubs. Roulette wheels and blackjack tables will be confined to four special zones: the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad; the area around the Sea of Azov in the southern Krasnodar region; Siberia's Altai region; and the Primorye region on the Pacific coast.

"But the zones require an estimated $40 billion in investment to be turned into the Las Vegases of Russia, and up to 400,000 people could be out of work from Wednesday, said Samoil Binder, deputy executive director of the Russian Association for Gaming Business Development..."

Related Links
Russian Online Gambling
Eastern European Leisure Exhibition (EELEX) 2009