Russia goes gambling

Russia will open four new gambling centres, after a draft law "On Governmental Regulation of the Gaming Industry" has been approved by the State Duma Economic Policy, Business and Tourism Committee.

The designated gambling zones will be located in the Kaliningrad region, the Republic of Altai, the Maritime territory and on the borders of the Rostov region and the Krasnodar territory.

The new bill, which was first approved on November 15th by the State of Duma, specifies that no more than four gambling zones can operate concurrently within its territory. Regional authorities will also have the power to close gambling venues situated in their territory.

Furthermore, according to Committee Deputy Chairman Vladimir Medinsky, it will be illegal for a gambling venue to open within city limits. The gambling zones will accordingly be spilt into two categories; residential and special.

In the residential zones, a casino should be no bigger than 800 square metres and have no more than 100 square metres allotted for gambling machines. Additionally, special zone casinos should be located beyond residential areas.

However, only Russian juridical firms which are not connected with the government or non-municipal juridical entities, with at least 600 million roubles (£11.6 million) will be allowed to setup gambling centres in Russia. If a gambling operator does not meet with the terms of these new regulations, they will be required to close by July 1st 2007.

President Vladimir Putin felt the need to control the growth of gaming machines and gambling halls, after the number of new venues began to grow rapidly in 2005.

Editor, - 2006-12-14 12:14:45

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