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Eastern Promise

Peter White Casino Life talks to Ian Wood - Vice President of Slots at “The First Gambling Company of the East” about their new development in Vladivostok 

Ian, Can we start with the history from when FGCE was founded to present day?

The First Gambling Company of the East (FGCE) was formed in November 2010 in Vladivostok, with the initial construction of the building works commencing in 2011. In 2013, Summit Ascent Holdings teamed up with FGCE and some associated changes were introduced to the project, including a plan to target and bring groups of international visitors to Vladivostok, aimed at boosting the success of the overall project.

When did the building development work of this Resort commence and when is the due date for completion.

As above, initial construction started in 2011 and the project is due to open doors in Q2 2015.

Is there a figure involved for the expected final amount of investment in the development of Primorye Integrated Resort project?  

FGCE phase 1 - total Investment will be around USD210million – not including the investment by local authorities for infrastructure development. FGCE phase 2 will include hotels, restaurants, shopping mall, entertainment venues and spas, and will see the total investment grow towards the US$1 billion mark.

Overall total investment in the IEZ is expected to reach USD6 Billion after completion of all investment and development by 2020.

What is the expected split of patrons to the Resort’s Casino between local vs visitors?

We envisage a mix of local vs visitors of around 80/20.

The aerial image of the location of the Resort has a lot of mountains and fields and not much sign of serious supporting infrastructure such as rail lines, roads and housing and shopping centres.

That is probably an older photo of the zone, before serious works commenced, and currently full infrastructure is already being finalised by the local authorities. There is already a dual carriageway leading to the IEZ, internal IEZ roads, telecoms masts & fibre optic cable, sewage treatment plant, water, gas supply, electric power substations & cables as well as soft and hard landscaping. 

What is involved in this development beyond just the Hotel and Casino?

There are many other facilities in the IEZ global plan (by 2020), i.e. Luxury Hotels, Casinos, High end Shopping Malls, Spa’s, Marina, Swimming pools, other sports activities, Theatres, entertainment, themed & signature restaurants & bars, (fine dining & fast food concessionaires and franchises) Duty Free shops, Travel Agencies, Beach/Marina, Golf Course. 

Does the location have good electricity, gas supplies and telecoms or will that have to be either built or enhanced to meet the necessary capacity for expansion?

These are already in development, as above.

How many slots and EGM’s has the Resort been allocated and have you made your decisions yet on manufacturer games.

The project will open in Q2 2015, and will offer 639 video slot games including games from Novomatic, Spielo /Gtech and TIGA Gaming.

Are you planning on having slot tournaments at the new resort Casino?


What is the number of table games and are you going to try out new games such as Lunar Poker?

The project will initially open with 67 live gaming tables, including Baccarat, Roulette, Black Jack and Poker. We are initially opening with games that are known to be popular in Russian casinos and the Asian region as a whole, but will of course look at other games that are available and may be popular in the near future.

How far is the nearest airport to the Resort and how long does it take to drive there? Will there be a dock built in the future so that Cruise Liners can stop over?

The closest international airport is Vladivostok International Airport, located near Artem, Primorsky Krai, Russia. It is roughly an hour's drive north of the centre of the city of Vladivostok but only 30km from the IEZ, and will take approximately 15minutes to arrive at the casino resort.

What will be the Casinos attitude to smoking will it be banned or will there be smoking zones on the gaming floor?

There is a total smoking ban in place in Russia, however, authorities are reportedly considering permitting designated zones/areas. 

When complete is it fair to say that it will be one of Europe’s leading adult theme park and resort destinations?

Absolutely, once we have started operations and as we attract business to the IEZ it will become self-generating and as other operators move in, supply chain, local economy, employment, infrastructure etc., will all follow at pace.