Putin extends life of Azov-City gaming zone to 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill extending the lifespan of the Azov-City gaming zone in Krasnodar Territory until 1 January 2019, state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported.

The bill also clarifies the powers of the Russian government. The Cabinet will not be allowed to take decisions on the elimination of a gambling zone until 10 years past its creation.

The document states that Azov-City should be liquidated prior to 1 January 2019, and that it is possible to organize and conduct gambling activities on its territory on the basis of permits issued before 23 July 2014 .

Currently no more than one gaming zone can be created on the territory of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation. And if a gaming zone includes parts of the territories of several regions, other gaming zones can not be created on these territories.

The document proposes not to extend these requirements to Krasnodar Territory until January 1, 2019. This allows a gambling zone in Sochi to be created before Azov-City stops functioning.

In a separate development, Putin spoke against introduction of gaming machines outside of the gambling zones during his annual phone-in. He seemed to address previous concerns of investors in Russia’s gaming zones, saying that they will be “put at a disadvantage” if such machines are allowed in any form. “On all sides it’s better not do this [introduce gaming machines outside of the gaming zone], and we won’t do this,” he said.