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Seda Hergnyan

Armenian Government Ups "Compensation" to Tsarukyan Casino to $13.8 Million

The Armenian government has bailed out businessman Gagik Tsarukyan’s Shangri La casino to the tune of 5.6 billion drams (US$13.8m) and not the 4.2 billion drams ($10.3m) announced in July.

The money will go to paying the casino’s taxes after the government stripped the casino of its license in July 2020 on the grounds of “illegal commercial activity”.

In March 2020, the Armenian government closed all night clubs and casinos in the country because of the growing Covid-19 pandemic.

Tsarukyan said at the time that the government should pay the casino’s taxes and the salaries of the employees laid off.

In June 2020, Tsarukyan declared that current government must be replaced. One week later, police searched the businessman’s mansion on the outskirts of Yerevan.

Earlier, Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) announced that it had uncovered evidence of 29.7 billion AMD worth of illegal commercial activity linked to Tsarukyan’s Shangri La casino.

In July 2020, after Tsarukyan’s remarks, the government striped the casino of its license.

Tsarukyan appealed the government’s decision, and a court overturned it.

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan supported the bail out, noting that the decision to strip the casino of its license was overturned in the courts and the state must now compensate the casino for any downtime it experienced as a result.

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