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Russia Entering Casino Industry With Ho-Operated Resort

The Ho family are no strangers to monumental decisions regarding the worldwide casino gambling industry. On Tuesday, the family was again the center of attention within the industry, this time in one of the newest countries to the casino business.

Russia, which has long been opposed to opening their borders to casinos, decided in recent years that only four zones would be approved for casino gambling. Being that the four zones were in locations away from the center of the Russian population, casino companies have balked about opening facilities in Russia. The Ho family, however, sees the potential in one location.

A company controlled by Lawrence Ho has come to an agreement to open a casino resort in Primorye, just outside of Vladivostok. The location could not be better for Ho, just north of the China-Russia border.

China has long been considered a hotbed for high roller gamblers. Residents from the Chinese mainland have made Macau the top gaming destination in the world over the past decade, and Ho and his company, Summit Ascent Holdings, was chosen this week to operate the casino just outside of China.

The familiarity to the territory will give Ho, the son of legendary casino operator Stanley Ho, a chance to not only promote the casino to Russians, but also Chinese gamblers.

"A lot of people don't realize that Vladivostok is an Asian casino opportunity that happens to be in Russia," said Macomber International Inc. President Dean Macomber.

Stanley Ho was the visionary that brought full-scale gaming resorts to Macau. For decades Ho held a monopoly in the industry. That monopoly was eventually broken, opening the door for US-based companies such as Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands to enter the Macau market. In the time that the US companies have moved in, Macau has passed Nevada as the top gaming destination for high rolling Asian gamblers.

The proximity to China and Russia makes the new casino location a possible treasure for Ho and his gaming company. The casino is expected to be opened by the second half of 2014.

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