The Russian legislature has passed a bill that creates a new gambling zone on the shores of the Black Sea. The Golden Sands zone, near the resort town of Anapa, replaces that part of the Azov City gambling zone that lies in the Rostov region.
The bill was sponsored by Gleb Khor, a Duma deputy from the Krasnodar region, and Senator Alexander Pochinok, reports the Moscow Times.
Lawmakers explained their reasoning in a note attached to the bill, namely that the Rostov part of the Azov City gambling zone, on the border of Rostov and Krasnodar, is still not functional.
The concept for Golden Sands was shown at an investment conference in Sochi, future site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, in September. It encompasses an area of 1,000 hectares near Anapa, a seaside resort popular with Russians. The site is 15 minutes from the local airport and train station, and unlike Rostov, has not yet established infrastructure and roads.
Pochinok said the project will require investment of up to $14 billion. The end product will be a resort town with beaches, casinos, hotels, golf courses, marinas and entertainment centers.
“Investors are already showing interest,” said Pochinok.
One problem yet to be solved is a method of compensation for those who have already sunk money into Azov City investments. Krasnodar is said to be ready to offer plots of land in the Golden Sands development, but there has been no official word.
Rashid Taimosov, general director of the first casino to open in Rostov, Royal Time, said no offers of compensation had yet been made. His company is hoping to get back the 500 million rubles it invested in its Azov City property—about $16 million—plus a parcel of land in Golden Sands. Taimosov said he expects the new zone to be operational in a couple of years.
A spokesman for Premier Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, said that the only reason for the relocation of the gambling zone is economics.