The Primorsky Krai government has implemented amendments to its local gaming law that will see the tax rate on casino resorts in the Primorye Entertainment Zone reduced by more than 25%.
Under the revised taxation laws, which were adopted at a regular meeting of the Legislative Assembly of Primorye on 27 September, the monthly tax on each slot machine will be reduced from RUB7,500 (US$76) to RUB5,500 (US$55), and on each gaming table from RUB125,000 (US$1,260) to RUB85,000 (US$857). This represents a reduction of 26.7% on the monthly slot machine tax and 32% on the monthly table games tax, according to information from Primorsky Krai Development Corporation.
Deputy Chairman of the Government of Primorye, Nikolai Stetsko, said the decision to lower gaming taxes was a result of economic sanctions being placed upon Russia as a result of the war in Ukraine, which has resulted in fewer tourist arrivals a decrease in the solvency of casino operators in gambling zones.
However, he has flagged a return to full tax rates in future.
“Now the economic situation in the region is stabilizing, and the internal tourist flow is also increasing, so we propose to gradually return to the original taxation,” Stetsko explained.
“The adoption of such support measures will allow a smooth transition to initial taxation, supporting employers in their desire to preserve jobs and high levels of wages at the enterprises of the Primorye gambling and entertainment complex.”
In a separate announcement, Primorsky Krai Development Corporation revealed that visitation to the Primorye Entertainment Zone had grown by 43% year-on-year and 12% sequentially to 164,246 in the first half of 2023, although most of the increase was from domestic customers with Russian. Tourists comprising 87% of the toral. The share of foreign tourists fell by percentage points to 13%, with Uzbekistan the number one source market. China contributed 4,666 visitors or less than 4% of the total.
A third casino development by Asia-Invest Group LLC was due to get underway in September, however another project by NagaWorld operator NagaCorp was suspended indefinitely in March 2022 on uncertainties related to the war in Ukraine.