Casino Tours

CASINO flourishes in CIS

According to many experts, Casinos and the associated activities in CIS countries is a lucrative and growing market with great revenue potential but carries great risk as well. This is due to the restrictive nature of laws in the CIS nations with most having rigid anti-gambling laws affecting both land based and online casinos operating within the region.

When and if allowances are made, as may be the case with Ukraine, the laws are not stable enough to guarantee longevity of investment in such industry with a change in government often being followed by a change in related laws.

While much of the CIS can be generalised on this category there are some variations. Places like Kazakhstan have specified gambling regions with two main areas being developed as the Las Vegas and Atlantic City of the region - Borovoe in the Akmola and Kapchagai, nicknamed as Kaz Vegas in Almaty. A feature which is common to most such establishments in the CIS is that there are very few that have any amount of foreign investment. This holds true in Kazakhstan as well with most of the big names like Astoria, Bombay Casino and Cash Ville Casino being owned by local companies, in this case the East Casino management company.

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Russia has only legalised gambling in special regions which have been earmarked for such projects. Russia has laid down regulations that have specified four separate regions for such activities, though only one of such regions is actually in full operation at the moment. Russia can at most claim only as many as four legally running casinos at this time although it is expected that the number will grow between now and 2020. The most well-known of Russian Casinos is the Sochi Casino and Resort, which has become a popular tourist attraction and betting spot outside of Russia due to the 2014 Winter Olympics held there. The success of this casino is expected to further transform Sochi city into a major hub in the region. But it is worth mentioning that there is little to no chance that the mega cities of Russia - St. Petersburg, Moscow or any nearby cities - will be getting their own gambling areas.

The largest casino is Yerevan, Armenia according to gaming machines and table games put together, is Shangri La Yerevan and X.O.Club.

Belarus which had legalised gambling as an integral part of its tourism-based economy for many years, especially to capitalise on the various casino investments, moved across the border from Russia as regulations tightened. Belarus boasts over 30 casinos, many of them concentrated in its capital Minsk which are frequented by the rich and powerful from across the CIS. Belarus is also one of the few CIS countries to attract foreign investment for its casino industry with foreign operators like Olympic Casinos and Storm International and Company opening properties in its borders. Belay Vazha, Shangri-La and Opera Casino located in Minsk are the three most well-known and oldest casinos in the country.

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