Russian government approves Crimea gambling zone

4 November 2019

The Russian government has approved a designated gaming zone to be located on the southern coast of the disputed region of Crimea.

The zone, named the “Gold Coast” gambling zone, was approved by a government order published on 22 October.

According to the government order, the zone will take up an area of 146,851 square metres (0.147 sq km/32.3 acres) and will be located in the Yalta Municipality on the south coast of the territory.

The zone would be the fifth zone designated for gambling by the Russian government, following "Siberian Coin" in the Altai Republic, "Yantarnaya" in Kaliningrad, "Azov-city" in Rostov and "Primorie" in Primorsky Krai.

Outside of these approved zones, gambling in Russia has been illegal since 2009.

A designated gaming zone in Crimea has been in the works since 2014, when the Russian State Duma approved a bill to establish special gambling zones in Crimea and Sochi.

The status of Crimea remains disputed following its annexation by Russia in 2014. The international community largely continues to recognise Ukraine’s jurisdiction over the region, although 17 UN member states besides Russia consider Crimea to be Russian territory.

Ukraine is currently in the process of passing legislation to legalise gambling across the country, with legislators having filed a bill to allow slot machines at three, four and five-star hotels and casinos at five-star locations.