Belarus outlines plan for major gambling center

Belarus announced on Friday it wants to build a $1 billion gambling center near Minsk airport, but has not found an investor yet, the country's national web portal said.

The construction of the planned center is expected to take up to 10 years.

However, the government web site admits there is skepticism among those involved in the project that it will not prove very attractive to investors.

"The size of the country's gambling market shows there is little reason to invest in the construction of a large gambling center," the statement at said.

The project is part of President Alexander Lukashenko's efforts to take advantage of strict restrictions on gaming in Russia.

Russia in July 2009 banned gambling everywhere except in four specially designated areas - in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, south Siberia's Altai Territory, Primorye in the Far East, and in southern Russia. Little has been done in any of the areas to build the infrastructure to attract gamblers on the model of Las Vegas and Atlantic City in the United States.

MINSK, January 14 (RIA Novosti)


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