Russian Prime Minister Did Not Propose Sochi as Gambling Zone
A spokeswoman for the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said this week that there was never a proposal from the Prime Minister to convert Sochi, the venue for the upcoming Winter Olympics, into a gambling zone.
The spokeswoman, Natalya Timakova, said, “The prime minister did not put forward the idea of creating a gambling zone in Sochi. The idea was suggested by a member of the banking community.”The Kommersant newspaper reported that Medvedev made the suggestion at a meeting earlier in the week as the government is examining possible ways of offsetting some of the losses expected to be made by businesses which invested in the development of Sochi ahead of the Olympics.
The Sochi Games have cost over $50 billion which makes them the most expensive Olympics of all time. A number of businessmen and state-run enterprises have been seeking government assistance to help pay back loans which they took out to pay for loss-making projects in Sochi.
Gambling was banned in Russia in 2009 except for in four designated zones across the country. The zones are in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, the Far East of Russia, the southern Krasnodar territory and Siberia’s Altai region.