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Crimea to get gaming zone by 2022

A gaming zone will finally appear on the southern coast of Russian-annexed Crimea by 2022, the regional head, Sergei Aksyonov, said in an interview with Russian state news agency TASS. 

"All decisions [regarding the zone] have been formalized, all agreements will be concluded this year. The place [for the zone] has already been determined at a public hearing - it is the village of Katsiveli. During November, all procedures must be completed, the facility has already been prepared. We must complete everything in two years," said Aksyonov.

In his opinion, Western sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine will not put punters off. “I don’t think so,” he said, adding that the zone will primarily aim to attract rich people from outside the peninsula.

"One can fly to Belbek airport (a military airport in Sevastopol, where a civilian terminal is being created) and then drove to the southern coast of Crimea [the route between the two destinations is roughly 70 kilometres]. Investors will be able to create this gambling zone in line with world standards," Aksenov said.

The law on the creation of the gambling zone in Crimea was signed after its annexation in 2014. According to expert estimates, it can bring to the regional coffers up to 25 billion rubles (390 million dollars at the current exchange rate) a year. 

Earlier this year the regional authorities sent a package of documents to the Russian Ministry of Finance for creating the gambling zone. 

Now there is a procedure for transferring the land owned by the republic to an undisclosed investor.

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