Russian Las Vegas in Vladivostok
With the aid of Chinese gambling billionairs Russia is building a huge casino project. In a deserted corner near Vladivostok there is a sizzling second Las Vegas. Or should we say, a second Macau? The plans are of a megalomaniac order and the plan consists of 13 luxury casinos.
Besides casinos, there is also an indoor ski slope like in Dubai, a kind of Russian version of Broadway, a number of golf courses, a marina and even a beach. For a location where the annual average temperature is around four degrees and a winter covering five months, that is quite special.
300 million gamblers in the area
Vladivostok however, has a particularly strong selling point: flies are within 3 hours of 300 million people and it is only a flight of just 2.5 hours to Seoul, Beijing or Tokyo. It is well known that most Chinese people like to gamble and the communist regime that figths corruption harder and harder makes it more difficult to enjoy Macau like in the old days. Where should you go when you are a wealthy Chinese who wants to roll the dice? Japan has no casinos at all and South Korea has only one.
Good for the Russian exchequer
Putin wants to make an economic success story out of Vladivostok and create a hub to Asia especially now the relations with Europe are about the same temperature as those in Vladivostok. The Russian Las Vegas will soon be finished. The location is a peninsula of 650 hectares 20 km from the local airport.
Since Putin closed almost all casinos in Russia in 2009 , the Russians had call upon foreign casino bosses with enough money and gambling expertise to get this project started. And they found them mainly in Macau. Vladivostok now has the mildest tax climate in the world for casinos: a casino pays only $ 4,200 a month for a table and a slotmachine is only $ 250 per month. This really is a fraction of the potential profits a casino can make. Earnings that have nothing to do with gambling, are free of tax until 2020.
The first Russian casino, Tigre de Cristal, is now open. The casino has 25 VIP tables which will be mostly occupied by rich Chinese playing baccarat. There are 42 gaming tables for the ‘normal’ casino visitors and 759 slot machines and 119 hotel rooms. Price tag of this is about 172 million dollars.
For Phase 2, the Tigre de Cristal gets another 170 gaming tables, 500 slot machines, a nightclub, two shopping centers, a spa and 500 hotel rooms. In exchange for his entrepreneurial spirit, the owner at least three years the monopoly on gambling in Vladivostok and a perpetual casino license, you already know with Putin and his mates never know what that is worth.