Mongolia’s government revives casino ambitions

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Mongolia’s government is reviving legislation that would authorise a casino and racetrack close to the country’s border with the Republic of Buryatia, part of the Russian Federation, according to a report by regional news agency UlanMedia.


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he possibility of putting casinos near the capital Ulaanbaatar’s new international airport has also been posed, in addition to sites near the Altanbulag village, across the border from the Russian town of Kyakhta and in the Zamyn-Üüd district near the southern border with China.

It is suggested that licences would be issued for 10-year periods, with fees of MNT 20-27bn (E7.5m-E10m).

Mongolia has made several efforts to launch a casino market since 1997, in the hopes of luring gamblers away from hubs like Macau, stimulating their economy and diversifying away from the mining industry.

Last year saw the country’s latest attempt, Australia-listed Frontier Capital Group was set to become Mongolia’s first casino licensee before the firm abandoned its lottery and possible casino venture in February.

As with a number of Asian countries which have approved gambling, the Mongolian bill will not permit the state’s residents to participate and the new market would depend on visitors from neighbouring states, banned from gambling in their own countries, hence the positioning of casinos near airports or its borders.

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