The casino landscape of Central Asia could be changed dramatically in the coming decade if various proposed projects come to fruition.
It was reported in late 2014 that tour operators in Iran were lobbying for a casino to be included in the proposed luxury tourist resort of Kenderli Bay in the Mangisau region of Kazakhstan. Kenderli lies on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea and directly to the north of the Iranian capital Tehran. A casino in the resort would only be a couple of hours’ flight from Tehran.
To the west, the Georgian city of Batumi on the Black Sea is also seeking to become a casino resort. In September 2012 it hosted a congress with a view to attracting investor interest.
Further up the Black Sea coast the Russian resort of Sochi has become one of the country’s designated gaming zones and it has been suggested that the annexed region of the Crimea will also be permitted to offer gaming as a means of improving its economy.
To the south, Cyprus is also looking to casinos as means of boosting its economy. The government has plans for a large resort casino that will be “world class” and include a minimum of 100 gaming tables and 1,000 gaming machines.
Of course, geo-political stability is fragile in this part of the world and investment in large casinos in some of the jurisdictions above is fraught with risk.