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No bids for Primorye casinos amid deepening North Korea crisis

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cials from the Russian government have confirmed that they still have not received any bids on plots of land earmarked for casino development in the Primorye region, near Vladivostok despite the deadline being extended to September 28th.

The Primorye Krai region is situated on the Russian east coat and shares a small land border with North Korea, a nation which has been caught up in an escalating war of words between its leader Kim Jung Un and US President Donald Trump.

In April, Russian regional media outlet primemedia.ru reported that trains loaded with military equipment were travelling into the Primorye region in response to the escalation of hostilities between the US and North Korea.

At the time of the incursion, Russian military commentator, Stanislva Sinitsyn told the Evening Standard newspaper: “If the situation worsens, especially related to military events, the armed forces of all the neighbouring countries obviously monitor it more closely, and we are no exception. It is not the first time that North Korea has broken the peace in the region, that’s why this situation deserves attention.”

Since then, tensions between Washington and Pyongyang have increased dramatically, with President Trump today forced to dismiss reports that a technical state of war exists between the two countries. Any nuclear strike on North Korea by the US would place the Primorye region at risk of radioactive contamination, a fact which may be putting off perspective bidders.

A spokesperson for the Primorsky Krai Development Corporation, which is in charge of both the auction and the development of the region told GGRAsia: “We have not received applications yet [for the land auctions] but our headquarters are staying in touch with investors and companies,”

Despite offering lucrative tax breaks and its proximity to one of the biggest casino markets in the world in China, development of the region has been slow and the Russian government took over control of the Primorye development zone in July, hoping to speed things up.

At present only the Tigre De Cristal resort is up and running, with Hong-Kong casino developer NagaCorp due to open its own development at the resort during the first half of 2019.

Other operators looking to expand into the area have been unable to within the necessary timescales required, incurring lawsuits from authorities in the region.

A third developer, Diamond Fortune Holdings Ltd recently began construction its first casino resort in Primorye named Selena World Resort and Casino which is due to open in 2019.


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