The new casino will feature 67 gaming tables, 25 of which will be exclusively reserved for VIPs. An astonishing 769 electronic devices, such as slot machines, will be offered alongside two top-tier restaurants, a spa and a hotel. Last week’s soft launch saw more than 5,000 visitors to Tigre de Cristal and over 9,000 people have already signed up for membership.
Tigre de Cristal, owned by G1 Entertainment, is expected to enjoy considerable success, especially as it will be the only casino in the area until at least 2017. Rival companies have plans to establish venues in the region, creating a healthy and vibrant casino industry in the Russian Far East that will cater to both residents and visitors from Asia. The Primorye gaming zone is just 50 kilometres from Vladivostok, a major hub for shipping, fishing and car imports from Japan.
Gambling in Russia is tightly regulated, with land-based gaming only allowed in specific districts - Altai, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar and Primorye. In the summer of 2014, Vladimir Putin gave Sochi and the Crimea approval to establish casinos, but little progress has been made in establishing venues. Tigre de Cristal will be closely watched to see whether or not the venue adds to the local economy, and any potential success could see the approval of new venues in other zones in hopes of creating a similar effect on local revenues in an unstable economy.