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Legal gambling as an incentive of regional development

This year, for the first time in Ukraine, the creation of an environmental-friendly resort city Dunaya Resort Ukraine with a gambling zone was announced.

The idea, planning and construction of the resort city became a reality only because Ukraine, after a long break, decided to legalize the gambling market, as civilized countries did. For several decades, gambling has been an integral part of the global entertainment industry, which is why the combination of a resort project with gambling is not only expected, but also reflects current trends in implementation of new recreational projects.

The first stage of the project is planned to be launched in two years, that is, in May 2023. The year-round Dunaya city-resort will be located in the Tatarbunarsky district of the Odessa region on the spit between Lake Sasyk and the Black Sea.

Dunaya is an example of an integrated infrastructure investment project that will also cover zones for casinos and other types of gambling.

This project attracted much public attention. Indeed, in addition to the construction of the complex itself, investors will also invest in new production facilities around Dunaya.

“What is the State’s investment in the Izmail airport, the railway branch, the new Artsiz and Izmail railway hubs, roads or engineering? At this stage, it is impossible to evaluate the amount of investments," says Fazil Askerov, the project initiator

He estimates the initial investment at USD 2.5 billion, and the total amount of investments in the project will exceed USD 10-12 billion over the next 10 or 15 years. Not a single developer in Ukraine can offer such a planning horizon.

In developing the concept of a resort city, the experience of six countries, namely Sri Lanka, Vietnam, South Korea, Georgia, Kazakhstan and others, was examined. Gambling zones have also been created there over the past few decades. For instance, in Sri Lanka little attention was paid to environmental issues, and in Georgia they regret placing casinos in cities.

“We took all these issues into account and ended up abandoning the concept of a “gambling city”. We do not create a gambling area. We create an environmental-friendly resort city, where one can also gamble,” explained Askerov.

The first five hotels should open their doors to guests in 2023. On the whole, the project includes the construction of 95 hotels and infrastructure facilities, which means tens of thousands of jobs and millions of tourists every year. According to experts, the project on the spit will create about 25,000 new jobs, and in total up to 100,000 jobs in related industries. This will actually double the budget of Tatarbunarsky district and bring tens of millions of hryvnia to the Odessa region.

As for the development of the tourism industry, according to estimates, Dunaya will attract about 6 million tourists every year. At the same time, the interest of foreign investors is related to the prospects for domestic tourism.

Statistically, about 20% of Ukrainians (about 8 million people) actively travel around their country, and pandemic-related restrictions preventing free international movements have roughly doubled domestic tourism in Ukraine over the past two years.

This project once again demonstrates that gambling is part of the entertainment industry and can effectively coexist with other business sectors, creating additional economic benefits in the form of jobs, taxes to local budgets and increased tourist flow.

Link https://thepage.ua/ua/experts/legalnij-gembling-yak-drajver-regionalnogo-rozvitku 
Viktoriya Zakrevskaya