Paul Edwards Director of Operations ‘Casino Sochi’ chats to Peter White
Sochi Casino’s story is one of success despite the odds. Russian casinos began to flourish in the nineties but as the millennium kicked in they became prolific. As of 2002, Russia was host to 58 casinos (30 in Moscow alone), 2,000 gambling parlors and as many as 70,000 slot machines that were loosely regulated and beginning to cause social problems. The Russian government, led by Vladimir Putin, identified this and acted decisively.
Solution? Close it down and move it out of the populated areas. On June 30, 2009, almost all of Russia’s casino industry went dark. (This seems to have been a recurring Russian situation: The Soviets outlawed all gambling except lotteries in 1928 also.)