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Casino Shambala authorized to continue gambling business for now

The Krasnodar Territory Arbitration Court has authorized the Casino Shambala to continue to conduct gambling activities in its complex, in the Azov City gaming zone.

The 18,000 square meter casino complex, which faces liquidation, turned to court after the regional property relations department had not responded to its request for reissuing Shambala's gaming licence for its newly-built casino. Under the court's decision, the company is allowed to operate until the department passes its decision.

In July 2014, the Russian government amended the law on gambling: the right to host a gambling zone was conferred to the Crimean peninsula and several land lots in Krasnodar Territory. The Finance Ministry ordered gambling activities to be suspended in unauthorised areas but expressed readiness to make an exception for Azov City, allowing its residents to gradually phase out their work while a new zone in Sochi is being launched.

Last week, local media reported that the Sochi gaming zone is tentatively set to open in the Gorky Gorod resort, which hosted the media centre during the Sochi Olympics in 2014, on 1 June this year.

One of Azov City's residents - Royal Time Group - suspended its work on the new investment projects there because of the uncertainty last spring. But Shambala continued building the second stage of its project, in which it had invested about 2 billion roubles and which opened on 25 December, according to the owner, Maxim Smolentsev. Now the company owns two casinos in Azov City with an area of 1500 square metres each.

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