Placing A Bet On Primorye

Primorye gaming zone has found a new resident. Regional governor Vladimir Miklushevskiy and Summit Ascent representatives (a Chinese company owned by a famous gaming businessman Lawrence Ho, the son of a legendary gaming mogul from Macao, Stanley Ho) have successfully finished the negotiations and signed a contract allowing the build of a casino in the Primorye region.
According to the agreement, the Chinese will buy 51% of casino project shares in the Primorye gaming zone. In particular, 46% of expenses will be covered by Summit Ascent holding, and the other 5% by the Melco International Development company that also belongs to Lawrence Ho. The total amount that the Chinese mogul is planning to invest into Russian gaming business would make up $630 million.

The first casino in the Primorye gaming zone is expected to open in September, 2013. It will be constructed 20 km away from the International Vladivostok Airport, in the Muravyinaya Bay. Casino Resort complex will offer 65 gaming tables, 800 slot machines and 119 hotel rooms.

The total space of the integrated Primorye gaming zone would make up 620 hectares. It is planned to build 16 hotels with casinos, a yacht club, a ski trail, guest houses and a trade and exhibition center. The amount of the capital investment into the zone is expected to equal 57 billion Russian rubles.
As a matter of fact, that would be one of the first legal casinos in Russia after the ban of gambling houses in 2009. It is well-known that four integrated gaming zones are being created in Russia right now, and experts say that Primorye is the most promising one. “Of course, one shouldn’t hope to see such a huge visitor traffic here as in Las Vegas or Macao, but, nevertheless, Primorye is a nice place for tourists”, said Andrei Vereyko, General Director of the CJSC “Vector Group, “Vladivostok Airport provides services for millions of passengers each year. Except the integrated Muravyinaya Bay entertainment zone, people might be interested in other region’s sightseeing attractions as well.”

According to Vereyko, the new gaming complex is designed to please the wants of the Chinese visitors, in the first place. “Gambling is prohibited in North-Eastern China, so there exists a great possibility that people will choose to fly to Primorye, because it takes just few hours”, said the expert.
The geographical closeness of Vladivostok and North-Eastern provinces of China is perfect for serving the Chinese clients and that’s what makes this project so interesting for Lawrence Ho. The flight time from Beijing to Vladivostok is 2.5 hours, Macao to Vladivostok – almost 4 hours and 1.5 hours if you fly from Harbin. The taxes here are expected to be significantly lower than in Macao, where gaming business gives 39% of the income to the state.
Semen Virhovskiy, a financial consultant, said that investments into Russian gaming business would positively influence Summit Ascent company’s stock value, being traded on Hong Kong Stock Exchange. “As far as I’m concerned, the stock value has increased instantaneously after signing the casino investment contract”, said the expert.