Turkmenistan Land Based Casinos
Turkmenistan is one of seven countries in Central Asia to offer legal casinos for gambling entertainment. This is a “rags to riches” saga, and the promise of building more casinos paints a bright future for a country which has emerged from Soviet era poverty.
Turkmenistan became independent from Russia in October 1991. However, a totalitarian style government continued under the heavy-handed power of President Niyazov, which included the banning of casinos. Nevertheless, this ban did not stop the thriving operation of underground casinos, many of which are still in operation today. Consequently, the government realized they were missing out on huge tax revenue opportunities by banning casino operations. They decided to change their policy and mandate that casinos could operate legally, if they were licensed.
Turkmenistan’s capital city of Ashgabat legalized and licensed two casinos: Grand Casino and Hotel Ak-Altyn Casino. These casinos also offer comfortable hotel accommodations to further attract many tourists, who come to gamble, from overseas as well as bordering countries.
The Grand Casino is open seven days a week for twenty-four hours per day. This casino offers one hundred and fifty slot machines, ten game tables, and three Poker tables. The casino is housed within the hotel with the convenience of one restaurant and two bars.
The Hotel Ak-Altyn Casino are two separate buildings located adjacent to each other, but housed within the same property. The casino offers thirty slot machines, four game tables, and two Poker tables. The hotel offers two Latin American restaurants and two bars.
Following the death of former President Niyazov in 2006, President Berdimuhamedow came to power and made several positive changes for Turkmenistan. One of these changes involved initiating the development of a special tourist zone on the Caspian Sea. Plans to build a giant hotel-casino complex are now underway in the town of Avaza along the Turkmenistan shores of the Caspian Sea. This extravagant project will cost five billion dollars with the hope of becoming known as Las Vegas in Turkmenistan. The money for the project will be funded by revenues from Turkmenistan’s huge oil and gas resources. President Berdimuhamedow has ordered the construction of the project’s seven marble hotels. The complex will have a total of thirty buildings, when it is completed. When completed, this beautiful casino resort will attract visitors from all over the world.
Turkmenistan no longer hangs in the shadows of Soviet era poverty, but it is taking its place of notoriety as tourists start looking towards this country as an exciting destination. Casinos are playing a positive role in accomplishing this initiative.