Putin gives green light for gambling zone in Crimea

Holidaymakers on a beach in Crimea, 29 June 2014 The new law seeks to boost tourism to Crimea's Black Sea holiday resorts

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law setting up a gambling zone in Crimea, the territory Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.

Four official gambling zones were created in Russia five years ago when the authorities acted to curb betting.

Russian MPs argue that the new law will attract investment and boost visitor numbers in Crimea, with its network of Black Sea holiday resorts.

Western states refuse to recognise Crimea's unification with Russia.

While the annexation, which followed a referendum on self-determination, was virtually bloodless, it encouraged pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to take up arms against the new authorities in Kiev.

There were concerns that Crimea's tourist revenue would fall sharply this summer as a result of the crisis.

Russia has sought to maintain summer visitor numbers with holiday promotions while state companies have been encouraged to treat their workers to holidays on the peninsula. Initiatives include visa-free travel to Crimea for Chinese tourists.

The new law also extends the gambling zone in Russia's southern Krasnodar territory to cover the city of Sochi with its Winter Olympics venues. Casinos are expected to be built near the Olympic Village, Russian media report.

The other three gambling zones were set up in Russia's Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, the Far East and Siberia's Altai territory.

More on This Story

Ukraine crisis

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop


  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach – why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.