Concerns regarding the slow development of the region have reportedly led to the federal government usurping control of the Primorye Entertainment Zone near Vladivostok, Russia, from the local government.
Asia Gaming Brief reports that the comment regarding the transfer of control of the gambling zone was made to Russian News Agency TASS last week in Macau by Yuri Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister and Plenipotentiary Representative of the President in Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District.
Citing TASS, Asia Gaming Brief reports that the Deputy Prime Minister explained, “The gaming zone in Primorye is developing slowly, and we recently held a meeting during which we decided to file lawsuits against four out of two investors [in the zone] to request their agreements to be terminated because they do not do anything there.”
The news agency reports that according to Trutnev, G1 Entertainment LLC, the firm developing the Tigre de Cristal casino resort in the Russian Far East, has already built a hotel and the second phase of the project has been slow in being implemented. Hong Kong-listed firm, Summit Ascent, Holdings Ltd, which is controlled by Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited CEO Lawrence Ho, holds a majority stake G1 Entertainment.
Meanwhile, the need for archeological excavations on the site, Trutnev explained, has also delayed Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp Ltd. from starting construction work. “Now they are assuring us that they will begin work this year and quickly implement the project,” said Trutnev.
Commenting further, Trutnev said, “Thus, we have land lots for three additional residents [in the zone], with one land lot remaining unallocated and two others to be retrieved. We know that there is interest in them both among already existing investors and other investors on the territory of the Russian Federation, as cited by Asia Gaming Brief.
Trutnev also reportedly said that he would like companies which are globally renowned and possess vast experience to compete for the project.
“Today’s trip is a ‘road show’ during which we talk about a new stage in the project’s implementation, we will take it under federal patronage,” Trutnev reportedly told TASS.
Currently, the entertainment zone has one operating integrated resort. Summit Ascent opened its Tigre de Cristal property in 2015, while a second is under construction by NagaCorp Ltd., which operates NagaWorld in Cambodia.
The company, which broke ground on its $350 million seaside integrated resort in May 2015, announced in March that they were “broadly on schedule for operation by 2019.”
Recently, the Arbitration Court of Primorsky Territory upheld a decision by the Corporation of the Primorsky Territory gambling zone to terminate its contract with Royal Time Primorye, a division of casino operator Royal Time Group, over delays in the construction of its Phoenix resort project, which it began construction on in March 2016.