27th of October was marked by the main gambling event for Russian Federation – Russian Gaming Week Sochi 2016. This time RGW exhibition was held in a well-known city of Sochi and mostly was dedicated to the grand opening of a new gambling zone called “Krasnaya Poliana” (Red Meadow) located in Sochi’s vicinities.
Technically, many of the gambling market insiders and market participants were attracted to the event due to the resolution of the government of Russia dated August 10, 2016 aimed at creation of already 5th gambling zone in the country known as “Krasnaya Poliana” (Red Meadow).
Thus, RGW turned out to be a platform where all of the mentioned issues could be discussed in the presence of various experts, legal agents, representatives of legislative bodies, developers, providers, casino operators and many specialists of the same kind.
Representatives of the administrative authorities delivered a couple of speeches regarding various economical possibilities and advantages that casinos and gambling zones might bring to the region. Under the frame of this forum, there were many discussions concerning the upcoming prospects of the gambling business.
The main topics discussed by the speakers during RGW were:
Prospects and challenges of the development of gambling zones in Sochi;
Possibilities of inviting funds and investments;
Legislative changes applicable to the laws regarding gambling business;
Casino cost recovery.
Within the framework of this congress, different representatives of the gambling industry could present their own gimmicks in the area of equipment for casinos, software, new gambling platforms, gambling content, etc. and find new partners in order to sign new deals.
Slotegrator, being a leading distributor of various solutions for online casinos, within the framework of RGW, introduced its new stand exhibiting new solutions for online gambling such as innovative software platforms, gambling gimmicks, made up comprehensive solutions White Label for creation of new online platforms from scratch and many other things.
Sales managers from Slotegrator, Roman Kuts and Vadim Potapenko shared their impressions about the most interesting parts from Russian Gaming Week Sochi:
Roman and Vadim, what are your impressions after visiting Russian Gaming Week? Is there any difference between this event and the previous ones? Who were the main speakers within the framework of RGW? What were the main issues raised in their speeches?
Roman: One of the striking features of this year’s RGW was the complete support of the whole event from the side of the authorities (in this very case – Sochi’s authorities). Official representatives dwelled upon plans of development of this region and various projects that might be applicable to the new gambling zone “Krasnaya Poliana” (Red Meadow) and its center “Gorki Gorod”.
Vadim: We attended approximately 10 performances. The main issues raised by the speakers touched upon multiple problems of legislative regulations over gambling zones on the territory of Russian Federation, as well as expectations that investors and market players put on the new gambling zone “Krasnaya Poliana”. Among important questions within the framework of discussion were legislative aspects of the currency regulation, use of bitcoins, block- chain technologies and etc.
Why Sochi is considered to be one of the most attractive regions for gambling business development in Russia? What are the main advantages of this location?
Roman: Even while preparations to the Olympics held in Sochi, many questions were raised concerning the future of the Olympic facilities built in the region. Among different ideas regarding the said location, the most financially feasible decision ran around creation of a gambling zone there, taking into consideration the fact that all the infrastructure was already created in the times of the Olympics. The law prescribing rules and regulations applicable to creation of such a zone was signed back in 2014, but only in the beginning of August 2016 it was finally validated by Russia’s government implying that this very zone will be located on the territory of Krasnaya Poliana, situated in Krasnodar Krai.
Vadim: The grand opening of a gambling zone precisely located in Sochi is a financially beneficial project both for local authorities and all of the participants of the gambling market. The truth is that this location is extremely cost-efficient because of its geographical proximity to Turkey. This country has an official ban on casinos and gambling activities, however, the Turkish are hot-tempered by nature, as any gambler so far. Sochi is going to be the nearest gambling zone for those who are ready to tempt fortune.
What are the main steps that local administration is going to make towards further development of the region and the gambling zone “Krasnaya Poliana” itself? What is the reaction of the participants of the gambling market to those plans?
Roman: Due to the Olympics previously held in Sochi this location became an internationally acclaimed resort. That is why gambling spaces located in such a popular destination should attract both leading players of the gambling market and investors. Currently, all the said participants are into market research in order to find new opportunities to consolidate their positions on this very market. In their own turn, administration guarantees all kinds of support regarding legislative issues as well as further development of the infrastructure. According to the representatives of the local authorities, all the funds coming from taxes collected from the gambling zone “Krasnaya Poliana” will be converted and invested back into the further development of Sochi in order to turn it into Russia´s solid athletic, tourist and gambling center.
Vadim: Practically all the participants of the said congress showed interest in this project. In addition, everybody´s waiting for the accomplishment of the official procedures finally giving the green light to all the activities peculiar to any gambling zone. First of all, we imply land-based casinos when we are talking about gambling facilities. A lot of business people see grand commercial potential in the whole thing, as long as all the facilities are already there. What is certain and obvious is the level of competition that is going to take place among all the participants of the gambling market.
What can you tell about Russian online gambling in general? Are there any plans regarding legislative changes in the nearest future?
Roman: Various experts tend to think that there won’t be any changes to gambling legislation in the nearest future. I totally support this opinion. Currently the scope of this segment in Russia is not that big in order for the government to take serious actions towards its regulation. Accordingly, we can talk only about prospects and challenges of legalization of gambling in an online environment. At the moment, everybody’s focused on the land-based gambling which is the matter of biggest concern for investors and fund raisers.
Vadim: As for the online gambling games, it should be said that according to the law “On governmental regulation of gambling organizations and activities” casino registration and casino functioning on the territory of Russia is prohibited, except in special gambling zones. This norm covers online casinos as well.
What is your vision of the results of this event? Does it seem effective for the whole industry?
Roman: Without a doubt, meetings of professional communities are beneficial and handy. In our specific case, Russian Gaming Week Sochi cleared up a lot of doubts and constructively explained many of the issues regarding development of the gambling business in this very region.
Vadim: Summarizing the results of the forum, it should be stressed that we are talking about a brand new stage in the development of gambling industry in Russia as well as the vivid interest shown by the authorities, investors, and potential legislative support to this industry. I noted that the demand for lawful high-quality software in Russia increased significantly just as for contemporary equipment and innovative gambling content. Basically, this is the evidence of that Russia’s gambling industry is gradually expanding.
What would be your recommendations to the market newcomers and all those beginners who might be interested in opening their own gambling businesses?
Roman: First of all, don’t be afraid. Another important thing is that operators should cooperate and create conjoined professional communities and rally around various problems of the industry, discuss them, share experience and search out for applicable legislative initiatives, etc. As for organizational and technical issues related to opening of any new casino, Stolegrator is always there to provide high-quality support and guidance of any extent.
Vadim: I’ve always been for effective competition as long as it is a potent driving force for any kind of business to grow and expand. Such successful development depends on transparent relationships between each casino functioning on the shared territory. Sure thing, markets should be developed conjointly. In our turn, Slotegrator is ready to propose both standard and exclusive solutions for any kind of casino, no matter land-based or online. Our crew of professionals is always there to provide support and guidance as well as to share new ideas and visions.
Roman and Vadim, thank you for an interesting conversation! Good luck in business!