The first casino to satisfy Moscow’s stringent location requirement has opened in the Azov City gambling zone.
The casino is operated by Royal Time, which is based in Tatarstan. The physical structure, described in an Associated Press article as “a large shed-like building in a snowy field,” offers players over 200 slot machines and 10 gaming tables, including a VIP area. A restaurant is also on premises, plus an open bar with snacks and free coffee.
The operator will open a small hotel with 11 rooms by the middle of the year, reports news source RIA Novosti. A larger, four-star hotel with 233 rooms is planned to open in seven years.
Royal Time will begin a free bus service to the casino from the relatively nearby cities of Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar, 70 kilometers and 150 kilometers away, respectively.
The distance combined with Russia’s currently unsafe road conditions has been a cause for concern. That concern proved justified on opening night, reports the Moscow Times, when the car of senior lawmakers from Krasnodar returning from the casino at 1 a.m. crashed into a car parked on the roadside. One lawmaker and the driver were killed in the accident.
Despite the difficulties of setting up shop in a remote, undeveloped region, a second casino is already set to begin construction in March.
“There’s a lot of gambling people here,” said Valery Saparin, marketing director for Royal Time. “We hope that a lot of people will be drawn to us in the near future.”
Saparin expects the casino to be attracting 500 people a day within four months.