Thursday, December 19, 2013

Medvedev Proposes Turning Sochi into Gambling

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has proposed turning Sochi, the venue for the Winter Olympics next year, into a gambling zone, according to a newspaper report Thursday. Medvedev made the suggestion at a meeting earlier this week as the government seeks ways to offset the losses expected to be made by investors who have put large amounts of money into the development of Sochi ahead of the Olympics, Kommersant newspaper reported. With a price tag of over $50 billion, the Sochi games are the most expensive Olympics of all time. Businessmen and state-owned companies have reportedly sought state assistance to pay back loans taken out to pay for projects they are backing in Sochi. The Kremlin banned gambling in Russia in 2009, except for four designated zones across the country. These zones include the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, the country’s Far East, the southern Krasnodar Territory and Siberia’s Altai region. A committee to look at Medvedev’s proposal to add Sochi to this list of gambling zones has been set up under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, Kommersant reported.

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