The Kaliningrad region of Russia has confirmed it plans to sell land to casino operators, but will not invest public funds to create the necessary infrastructure to support its designated gambling zone.
Kaliningrad is located on the Baltic Sea, between Poland and Lithuania, and is not contiguous with Russia.
The regional government’s intention to place the land privately was reiterated recently by the local economy minister, Alexandra Smirnova. Exact terms of the coming land sale tender are being drawn up, but prices are expected to be relatively high.
The gaming zone is expected to comprise just over 1,000 hectares.
The national government has made it clear it intends to stick to its July deadline for the closure of all casinos and slot halls outside the four designated regions. However, those regions have made little or no progress on development.
In April, the website KaliningradExpert reported that Kaliningrad Governor Georgy Boos had said construction of the gaming zone might take a decade to complete, and that if successful it could create an additional 20,000 jobs for the region.
KaliningradExpert also reported that the Czech subsidiary of gaming machine producer Novomatic will be starting operations at a new manufacturing plant in Kaliningrad in June.
However, the president of the Association for Entertainment Industry Development, Bogdan Golovaha, has said that, for now, 5,000 people in the Kaliningrad region might be losing their jobs on July 1.