Yantarnaya casino opens doors to the public

Sobranie – the newest casino in the Yantarnaya gambling zone, held its grand opening over the weekend, Russian local media reports.

Touted as “the biggest casino in Europe”, the casino occupies a total area of 18,000 square metres on the Baltic Sea coast and, as of now, includes 350 slot machines and 14 gaming tables. There are plans to increase their number to 1,000 and 40 respectively.

Total investment in the project totals RUB 2.5 billion (US$43.1 million) and is expected to reach up to RUB 3.5 billion, according to Valery Saparin, marketing director of Uni Management which operates the casino.

The operator also plans to open a VIP complex on the premises in 17Q3, which is currently being decorated.

The casino’s design was developed by Steelman Partners, which is known for working on casino projects in Las Vegas and Macau.

In other news, Russia is cracking down on illegal gambling transactions via a new bill, which will blacklist any person, company or entity that takes money from a Russian citizen for the purpose of online gambling, RBC reports.

The blacklist, compiled by the Federal Tax Service (FTS), will be published and communicated to banks and all paying agents.

According to the news outlet, the government legislative commission approved the Ministry of Finance bill on Feb 6. According to the ministry, another discussion of the bill is expected on Feb. 16.

The illegal online casino market is said to turnover at least RUB 3 billion per year, noted analyst Alexei Antonov.