Russian market draws Asian Gamblers

Jan 14, 2016 10:55 AM

Russia’s Primorsky Entertainment Zone has received a lot of attention from Chinese and other Asian gamblers who may have been driven away from Macau because of restrictions now in force there.

The Siberian Times reports that operators in this area near the Chinese and North Korean borders generates about 80 percent of its revenues from Chinese, Japanese and South Korean VIP gamblers.

Citi Research has estimated that the Primorye market could reach $1.7 billion by 2020. While Primorye Territory Vice Governor Sergey Nekhayev also expects strong growth, estimating that tax revenues from the zone will reach 165 million rubles in 2016, more than 700 million per year by 2019 and about 2.5 billion rubles per year by 2022.

The Tigre de Cristal, situated in the far eastern Primorsky Krai province of Russia, has been a major attraction for both foreign and local gamblers, threatening to impact the world’s top gambling hotspots, Macau and Las Vegas. The casino held its gala opening earlier in Nov. 2015 and analysts have been optimistic about its prospects, despite a slump in China’s VIP market.

During a recent conversation with Macau government leaders, casino operators pointed out that they have felt the pressure of increased competition from other casinos trying to attract Macau customers.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: [email protected].