The RUB 4 billion ($66.3 million) Sochi Casino and Resort, located in the 165,000 square meter Krasnaya Polyana gambling zone in Sochi, is slated to open today.
Situated in the existing mountain cluster of Gorki Gorod resort, the 5-star complex is owned by Domain LLC, the operator of the fifth active gambling zone in Russia. The company said in a statement, “Sochi Casino and Resort is the first entertainment complex of a global scale located on the territory of the year-round mountain resort Gorky Gorod. Sochi Casino and Resort is a project with a unique concept for Russia in the spirit of the best casinos of Las Vegas. The grand opening of the casino will take place on January 5,” according to Russian Government-owned news agency Sputnik.
The venue is the redevelopment of a 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics media center, which the Russian government and state-owned banks invested billions of dollars in, to the tune of huge cost overruns. Looking for ways to recoup some of those investments, one solution was to modify existing private facilities at Gorki Gorod resort.
Late in August last year, Russia’s Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, signed off on the establishment of the gaming zone in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi.
The entertainment complex that is expected to attract tourists and receive 43,000 guests every month, includes a casino with 70 gaming tables and 569 slots, two restaurants, a bar and cabaret theater, along with other venues, according to the report.
Domain LLC expects to pay off its substantial investment within three years and also expects that turnover from the casino will reach RUB 4.6 billion in 2017, to be followed by significant growth over the next two years, according to Asia Gaming Brief.
Since 2009, when Russia closed up to a thousand casinos, legal and illegal, gambling has been banned nationwide except for four designated gaming zones in rarely visited regions, including Azov-City, Altai Krai, Primorye in Primorski Krai outside of Vladivostok, and Yantarnaya (“Amberland”). Sochi is now the fifth gambling zone, with the sixth and what could be final Russian gambling zone created by President Vladimir Putin on the territory of the Gaspa settlement near the city of Yalta. Ground will break there this year, with the gambling zone expected to open in 2019.