The Yantarnaya gambling zone turns up as a basic component of the scale project called New City. It is going to be erected on the Baltic coast near the village of Kulikovo (Kaliningrad). The New City project includes a creation of recreational area, named Amberland, consisting of two parts – the Yantarnaya gambling area and the residential sector of the new resort city.
The development of the local gambling zone began in 2014. The total area occupies 995.1 thousand m². The full implementation of the Amber project should have been completed within 15 years. The amount of investments is estimated at about 45 billion rubles.
STK Group of Companies, the key investor, belongs to the Royal Time Group holding. According to the decree of April 2016, Yantarnaya is licensed with unlimited terms allowing the operators to work in the gambling zone for as long as it exists, or until it is canceled by the regional Ministry of Economics for violations of current legislation.
The First Project at Yantarnaya
The first legal gambling establishment at Yantarnaya – the Magic Crystal arcade - officially started operating on April 2016. The initial opening was planned for the autumn 2015. However, the investor said that from the point of view of economic optimization it is better to reschedule the opening.
Investments, primarily in the implementation of "Yantarnaya", amounted to about 6 billion rubles. The arcade is satuated in the glass cube-shaped building, including 150 slots and 100 full-time employees.
Magic Crystal belongs to LLC Neverland. Immediately after the opening of the hall, the representatives of the company announced the intention to expand their presence at Yantarnaya and implement another arcade project. In the future they will have been combined into a single complex. The new hall opening is planned for the end of 2016, however, more than official comments Neverland did not provide.
The First Casino
Since the end of December last year the first Sobranie casino, a gambling flagship in Kaliningrad region, started its operation. The gambling establishment functions in a test mode. According to official data, the grand opening is scheduled for February 10.
The senior managers of Sobranie reported that they have prepared a non-trivial guest program, lots of drawings and gifts. The main participant of the event will be a singer Christina Orbakaite.
According to reports, two more casinos are expected to be launched at Yantarnaya, but so far there is no information about the following one.
From 12.10.2016 the control over the activities of Yantarnaya is carried out by the Federal Tax Service of Russia jointly with the Kaliningrad region government.
The Ministry of Regional Control (Supervision) and the Ministry of Economy of the Kaliningrad Region have been appointed by the authorized bodies of state power within their competence:
- monitoring the organization and conducting of gambling with a subsequent monthly report to the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation;
- issuance/re-issuance/cancellation of permits to organize and conduct gambling activities in the gaming zone;
- lease or ownership of land plots located in the Yantarnaya gambling zone;
- interaction with state authorities, local self-government of the Kaliningrad region municipalities, gambling operators, and other persons.
Replenishment of the regional budget
If we consider the Yantarnaya resort in the terms of profitability, the gambling zone is significantly inferior in development and profit compared to other integrated gambling territories.
In the period from January till July, Yantarnaya replenished the regional budget by 4.6 million rubles (for comparison, the Primorye gambling resort brought 450 million rubles of total taxes and fees). According to the regional Ministry of Finance, the plan of gambling taxes was exceeded by 3.3 times due to the fact that initially they were understated.
Repeatedly, the experts commented that low figures indicate low demand for the area due to undeveloped infrastructure. Back in 2009 auctions for improving internal structure of Amber took place back in 2009, but investors are not in a hurry to invest in gambling zone.
According to the regional authorities, foremost the gambling zone is set to become an attractive resort city. And only then – a gambling zone.
Chinese businessmen are actively approving themselves in the Amber development plan, the project implementation, and the infrastructure improvement. However, all these statements are at the level of discussion.
According to the Minister of Tourism of the Kaliningrad Region, Andrei Yermak, by 2020 Yantarnaya could receive 5 million tourists. However, he postscribed: "If the zone operates at full capacity", and therefore - when existing projects for gambling sites will be realized.
Grand project Amberland is available only on drawings and maquettes, but even in this format it is deeply impressive. The Yantarnaya recreational zone, which is a part of the project, made a good start for development, despite the fact that any casino has not opened. In a few days the grand opening of the first gambling house will take place, and after a quarter it will be possible to sum up the subtotals.
The Amber’s implementation is meant to be a creation of number of entertaining establishments including restaurants, casino-resorts, branded shops, piers, gardens, etc.
In 2030 it is planned to finish construction of all gambling facilities on a turnkey basis. There is a great chance and plenty of time to consider Yantarnaya as an attractive gambling area to invest in.