Joining the foreign region

The solution to all these regional  dilemmas is a Federal Gaming Act that sorts out this mess once and for all.

Winston Churchill said of Russian politics that it was like watching two dogs fighting under a carpet. Over half a century later these words still ring true. As the Russian Government continues to discuss the contents of its country wide Gaming Act, a series of city wide bans and restrictions on gaming are taking effect in the two principal cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow. The fight to control Russian gaming, from both a government and a business stand point, appears to have begun, but this local versus national policy will create chaos in the short-term. While the full Gaming Act is expected to be passed early 2007, regional policy makers acting unilaterally can have a devastating effect on the business. In the Baltic States, Latvia has felt the effects of such changes for many years, as local politicians implemented their own plans for gaming operations in their jurisdictions. But in the new Gaming Act passed in November, the Latvian government added a clause to the bill that prevents local officials from meddling with the structure of the Act. Such a move enables investors to make long-term decisions on markets that have previously proved volatile. While certain decisions should practically be made at local level, completely breaking the spirit of a Gaming Act, which has been followed to the letter by petty local ordinances and politically and economically motivated officials. However, should plans to see gaming become a totally regional affair in Russia, with gaming sent outside city borders, then such activity could only strengthen. And frankly, it’s a ludicrous idea. Not that the industry isn’t full of such notions, but Russia’s not exactly a destination location. Traveling to ‘Las Vegas ’ style resorts isn’t the Russian gaming style resorts isn’t the Russian gaming style resorts isn’t the Russian gaming style, and while the proposal is being taken seriously by the State Duma, the practicalities of sending taxes back to the cities from the regions will, thankfully, prove unworkable. The solution to all these regional dilemmas is Federal Gaming Act that sorts out this mess once and for all. It must provide clarity and integrity, giving the industry much needed transparency in Russia, and the sooner the better. But as both Moscow and St. Petersburg resolve their short-term issues with gaming, the incentive to speed the process of national change could slow. It would be a shame to lose this opportunity . so if you’ve got one, throw these dogs a bone


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G3 is a pan European high quality monthly magazine for the amusements and gaming operator. It sources games and gaming products from around the world and delivers them direct to you each month. How to buy, where to buy and why you should buy are all covered. Each issue will feature the latest games, in-depth country reports and special focuses on stand out products. If you’re considering buying a online poker game don’t move until you’ve read G3.