As negotiations to bring gambling to the Crimea region of Russia continue at pace, local officials in the southern city of Sochi have this week granted a first casino operating license to a company called LLC Domain.

According to Asia Gaming Brief citing a report from the TASS Russian news service, LLC Domain was established by Singapore-based construction firm Silverron International Private Limited in December with Mikhail Danilov serving as its Chief Executive Officer.

“Following its application, LLC Domain has been granted permission to carry out activities for the organization and conduct of gambling in the Krasnaya Polyana gambling zone by the Department Of Property Relations Of Krasnodar Krai,” read a statement from officials in Krasnodar Krai.

Asia Gaming Brief reported that Danilov has interests in the Altai Krai and Primorsky Krai gambling zones as well as a stake in local bookmakers Star Bet and Bingo Boom and revealed that the new Sochi casino is expected to soft launch around Christmas before a full-scale opening is held in early 2017.

A 2009 decision made casino gambling illegal in Russia with the exception of four disparate regions, the Kaliningrad Oblast on the Baltic Sea, the far eastern Primorsky Krai, Krasnodar Krai on the Black Sea and central Asia’s Altai Krai. The Krasnaya Polyana, which directly translates as “red meadow” in Russian, area around Sochi was added to the Krasnodar Krai region in 2014 while Moscow approved casinos for the newly-annexed Crimea territory in June.