The Tigre de Cristal was the first casino to open in Russia’s Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone, a special economic zone created by the government for the casino industry. Hong Kong based Summit Ascent Holdings which is the majority shareholder in the casino recently reported that the casino had generated more than $8 million (500 million rubles) in gaming taxes during its first 12 months of operation.
A regional administration report stated said “G1 Entertainment, a resident company of the Primorye integrated entertainment resort, launched the work of its first facility, Tigre de Cristal, in October 2015. According to information of the Primorye Territory Tourism Department, the work of the first casino has yielded almost half a billion rubles for the state in tax deductions and payments to extra-budgetary funds. The organization also said that over 190,000 guests have visited the hotel-casino compound since the beginning of 2016.”
The Tigre de Cristal is currently enjoying a monopoly in the market as the other licensed casinos are currently in the development phase. Casino tycoon Lawrence Ho Yau Lung who is the chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd and the owner of Summit Ascent Holdings has used a strategy to target Asian gamblers who are just a few hours away by flight from the Tigre de Cristal casino. The marketing strategy has worked well so far as the casino has reported receiving a total of 190,000 visitors since the start of 2016.
The Primorye Territory Tourism Department stated that between July to September 2016, the casino averaged around 1,000 visitors per day, which was twice as many when compared to the period between March to June 2016. The department stated that nearly 30 percent of these visitors during the third quarter were from South Korea and China. The casino has also witnessed a significant increase in its rolling chip turnover during the last couple of months. When the casino was launched in November 2015, the rolling chip turnover was at HKD 258 million. The Tigre de Cristal casino recorded a rolling chip turnover of HKD 2 billion in July 2016 and HKD 2.2 billion in August 2016.
The Tigre de Cristal will continue to enjoy a monopoly on the casino industry for another year and a half. NagaCorp is scheduled to open the second casino in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone only during the summer of 2018.