Melco Crown Entertainment CEO Lawrence Ho has signed an agreement with the government of the Russian state of Primorye to build a $700 million casino resort, while in Vladivostok for the Far Eastern Investment Congress.

Lawrence Ho

“I am very optimistic about the potential of our investments in the Russian Far East,” Mr Ho said at the signing of the agreement.

Primorye Maritime Territory governor Vladimir Miklushevsky said the gaming zone planned for the territory would bring in a new economic impetus along with Asian tourists.

The location of the resort is located next to China’s Heilongjiang province which is in the North East and it is hoped the new development will attract some 12 million visitors once completed a year.

Under the company name of Summit Ascent Holdings Mr Ho has currently a 37% stake in the resort, which will climb to 51% once near completion. Other investors in the development are Firich with a 19% stake along with Elegant City which has a 30% share.

Firich is a wholly owned subsidiary of FEC, a Taiwan-listed maker of electronic gaming machines, multi-player gaming terminals, video lottery terminals and lottery point-of-sale terminals.

Russian businessman Oleg Drozdov owns Elegant City which is a construction and development company.

The initial resort will consist of one hotel and one casino which is hoped to expand into two other phases consisting of another casino which could be under the full control of Lawrence Ho and his holding company along with two more hotels under separate control, which would see more investment of another $630 million.

The first phase of the Russian resort is to have a hotel with 119 rooms, approximately 800 slot machines, 25 VIP gaming tables and 40 mass-market gaming tables, according to the developers plans.

“The investment is expected to be completed by 2017,” said Mr Drozdov. “None of the partners have any doubts that these investments are realistic,” he added.


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