Primorski Krai Officials Plan 3 New Russian Casinos

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 | Written by April Bergman
Primorski Krai Officials Plan 3 New Russian Casinos

The Primorsky Krai Development Corporation plans to auction three parcels of land earmarked for integrated casino-resort developers in the Russian Far East. The Russian state-owned development corporation said it has received interest from international and domestic casino companies.

Andrey Folomeev, the Primorsky Krai Development Corporation’s General Director, said that the initial auction date of August 28 had been pushed back one month. The stated reason for the delay was to give bidders time to prepare better for their plan and presentation.

“Primorsky” is Russian for “maritime”, and Primorsky Krai is the Maritime Province in the Russian Far East. Also known as Primorye, the region surrounds Vladivostok, the largest port on Russia’s Pacific Ocean coastline.

Russia’s 5 Gaming Development Zones

The Russian Federation has five special development zones, which are the only areas where casino gambling are allowed: Kaliningrad Oblast between Poland and Lithuania, part of the Crimean Peninsula, an area on the Black Sea coast near Sochi called the Krasnaya Polyana, Altai Krai in Central Asia, and Primorsky Krai. All five zones are set away from Moscow and St. Petersburg, so they attract Russian and international high rollers, while (largely) barring the Russian mass market from gambling.

Primorsky Krai is, in many ways, the test case for Vladimir Putin’s new land-based casino policies. Two years ago, it allowed the launch of the $144 million Tigre de Cristal, a brick-and-mortar casino near Vladivostok. Tigre de Cristal is owned by Lawrence Ho, who also owns Macau’s casino corporation, Melco. The holding company is Summit Ascent Holdings, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

3 New Casinos in Primorsky

In the coming years, Tigre de Cristal will have up to three new competitors in the region. Originally, Putin’s government planned to allow up to 8 different casinos in the region, but that appears to have been scaled back to half that number.

Previously, Gaming Group Primorye and Royal Time Group owned plots of land in Primorye. Each had their licenses canceled, because they failed to uphold the developmental time tables they had promised. GGRasia said those parcels of land might be re-auctioned in the coming wave of sell-offs.

Konstantin Shestakov Touts Investments in Primorsky Krai

Konstantin Shestakov, Primorsky Krai’s Head of Tourism, touted the success of Tigre de Cristal in a recent document which called for more casino developments. Shestakov said in a government report, “The apparent success of the first hotel and entertainment complex with casino Tigre de Cristal…will certainly serve as a good incentive for future investors. Figures show that [in Tigre de Cristal] investors [in specific] and the state [of Primorsky Krai in general] show a profit.”

Two of the investors expected to make the biggest splash in the coming years are Seaside Entertainment Resorts City and Selena World Resort & Casino — the most likely competitors Lawrence Ho’s casino will face.

Seaside Entertainment Resorts City

Seaside Entertainment Resorts City (artist rendering pictured above) plans to join Tigre de Cristal in the near future. Seaside Resorts City is a $350 million development by NagaCorp Limited, a Cambodian casino corporation.

Selena World Resort & Casino

Diamond Fortune Holdings, a Russian casino firm, plans to open a $900 million resort in the area. That integrated casino-resort, named Selena World Resort and Casino, will be the biggest development of the three.

Andrey Folomeev on Primorsky Krai

Folomeev said he was pleased with the level of interest in the current bidding process. He also purported to be pleased with the developments in Primorsky Krai so far. He also boasted that the Primorsky Krai Development Corporation was the leading example of a state-run gaming development corporation in the Russian Federation.

Folomeev told GGRAsia, “Primorsky Krai now already has the highest [business] rates among all gambling areas in Russia and, of course, we are the only one area that was recognized by the largest companies from the gambling industry such as Melco International Development Limited and NagaCorp Limited as [a] potentially successful project.”