The government of Mongolia was expected to vote last month on draft legislation to permit development of two casino resorts.
The proposed resorts are already in the initial stages of planning. One would be located at Khushigt International Airport, now under construction. That property would cater to Asian gamblers, especially Chinese players who are avoiding casinos in Macau.
An unnamed legislator said the resorts would attract Chinese, Japanese and Russian people, who are “some of the biggest gamblers in the world. Japan and Russia already don’t need visas for Mongolia, and Chinese with official passports don’t either.”
Reuters reports the move is an effort to jump-start a flagging economy and add new industry in a country that depends on mining for about one-third of government revenues; Mongolia sits on significant reservoirs of gold, copper and coal.
A number of countries across Asia are building large-scale casino resorts to lure the region’s high rollers, including those from mainland China. Mongolia’s draft bill includes restrictions that would keep Mongolians from playing at the casinos.