Winter Olympics host city could become another ‘gambling permitted' region.
Sochi, the Russian city that is to host the Winter Olympics next year, could become the next zone where the Russian government permits gambling, according to a report in the publication Kommersant.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made the suggestion at a meeting earlier this week as the government seeks ways to offset the massive losses expected to be made by investors who have put large amounts of money into the development of Sochi ahead of the Olympics.
With a price tag of over $50 billion, the Sochi games are set to become the most expensive Olympics of all time.
Businessmen and state-owned companies have reportedly sought state assistance to pay back loans taken out to pay for projects they have committed to in Sochi.
The Russian government banned gambling in Russia in 2009  restricting the industry to just four designated zones across the country. These zones include the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, the country’s Far East, the southern Krasnodar Territory and Siberia’s Altai region.
A committee has been set up to consider the Prime Minister's proposal and will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, Kommersant reported.