Lawrence Ho Planning Casino in Russia

first_imgLawrence Ho is striking out on his own, pursuing a casino deal in Vladivostok.The co-chairman of Macau’s Melco Crown Entertainment has signed an agreement to develop a property in Russia’s designated Far East casino zone, known as Primorye, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Evan Winkler appointed President as Melco Resorts implements latest management overhaul Melco likely to pass Australian regulatory inquiry, target full Crown acquisition: Bernstein Mr Ho’s is the first big name associated with the zone, one of four the government has set aside for casino development after the industry in 2009 was banned from Moscow, St. Petersburg and other major cities where it was flourishing virtually unregulated and only lightly taxed. The other zones, all relatively remote, are Kaliningrad in Eastern Europe, the Altai region in Central Asia and in the lower Don River region near the Black Sea.Mr Ho’s investment is being made through a Hong Kong-listed entity called Summit Ascent Holdings, one of five bidders the Primorye government has selected to present casino proposals. It is not known how many will be selected or when, according to the Journal.The Russian zones have yet to strike a chord with investors, so to encourage development Primorye is offering low capital minimums and tax breaks resulting in an effective levy on gambling revenue of zero.No details were available on Summit’s project except that plans call for it to open in the second half of 2014 at a site about seven miles from Vladivostok airport.The attraction of Primorye is its relative proximity to northeast China, the Koreas and Japan. Beijing is about two and a half hours from Vladivostok by air, Harbin less than two hours. Casinos are prohibited in both China and Japan. South Koreans are permitted to gamble in only one casino in their country. Load More RelatedPosts Melco Resorts defers acquisition of second tranche of Crown shares until conclusion of regulatory inquirylast_img

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