Betting in Minsk

Published: 22/04/2013

Situated on the Svislach and Niamiha rivers, Minsk is the capital and largest city of Belarus. Its official population in 2012 was just over 1.9 million residents, with another 200,000 living within the greater urban area. Economically, Minsk is a juggernaut. The city’s industrial and services sectors are responsible for nearly 46% of the entire national budget.

Among the earliest historical references to Minsk are records of the 11th century, when it was a provincial city within the principality of Polotsk. In 1242, Minsk became a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, receiving town privileges in 1499. Then, from 1569, it became a capital of the Minsk Voivodship in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. After being annexed in 1793, the city existed as part of the Russian Empire until 1919, when revolution made it the capital of the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union. That lasted till independence in 1991.

Today, within the perimeter of the M9 ring road, Minsk is divided into nine administrative districts: Frunzyenski, Kastrychnitski, Lyeninski, Maskowski, Partyzanski, Pyershamayski, Savyetski, Tsentralny and Zavodski. The city has the distinction of being the only one in Belarus with an underground metro system. It is also served by a central railway station and Minsk International Airport, located 42 kilometres (26 miles) to the east; both facilities were constructed in the 1980s.

Of the 46 government-sanctioned gaming facilities within Belarus, fully 34 of them can be found within the city limits of Minsk. They include two branches of Club Admiral, owned and operated by the Austria-based Novomatic Group of companies; eight MaxBet properties run by the Ukraine-headquartered MaxBet Entertainment Group Plc; five Olympic Casino venues managed by the Olympic Entertainment Group from the Republic of Estonia; and five Princess Casino properties, organised by the Princess Entertainment Group out of Istanbul, Turkey.

Of these, the largest gambling hall is the Juravinca Princess Casino, which contains 7,530 square feet of gaming space in the heart of Minsk’s entertainment district. Featuring 78 gaming machines and eleven table games, Roulette and Blackjack are highly popular, along with Poker. The casino is attached to the Juravinca Hotel, open 24 hours daily all year round.

In fact, more than a few of Minsk’s independent casinos are located within major hotels. Hotel Yubileiny contains the Casino Yubileinoye with its eight gaming machines and nine table games. The Casino Tornado is inside the 310-room Hotel Planeta, offering 32 gaming machines and three table games. And the Victoria Hotel on Pobediteley Street houses the Casino Victoria, 36 gaming machines and 15 table games in operation 24/7.

Among other popular casinos around the city, one of the biggest is the Club-Casino Belaya Vezha on Masherov Avenue. It features 5,920 square feet of gaming space, containing 56 gaming machines, 17 table games, a restaurant and three bars. Another is the Dankoff Club on Myasnikov Street, featuring 28 gaming machines and 13 table games, plus billiards, a disco, three restaurants and a bar. Meanwhile, the Shangri-La Casino near Dinamo Stadium has a 16,200-square-foot gaming space with 30 gaming machines and 14 table games. All three venues are open 24 hours daily.

For those who enjoy horse racing, the XO Casino Club Minsk on Independence Avenue has its own 2,000-metre oval turf track. Established in 2011, the on-site racino features Novomatic gaming machines and 14 table games, with action available 24 hours a day. There is also a poker club in operation, offering games of Texas Hold’em, Omaha, 5-Card Stud, 7-Card Stud and more.

Published on: 22/04/2013

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