Russian government’s fight against online casinos

18 December 2010 – By Jane Spiegel

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Since 2009, the Russian government has declared gambling illegal in most parts of the country in an effort to keep citizens away from the temptations of online casinos. The only sector of this business that was spared from the prohibition measures is sports betting. The current laws concerning gambling stipulate fines for gambling organizers only but politicians want to modify these regulations.

They have recently proposed a new bill that imposes fines up to 2000 roubles for people who are caught gambling using online casinos and mobile networks outside the official zones for gambling set by the government. The bill is also supported by the fact that underage gamblers have been discovered. Despite the ban, online casino activities have gained popularity and Russian entrepreneurs have succeeded to bypass and go around the imposed gambling ban.

Minor name change of their businesses has enabled them to operate legally as high class lottery clubs. Thereby, the number of lottery clubs has risen drastically in number from 23 locations to 98 locations in less than a year. But the Russian government’s iron hand on gambling led to the closing of 78 lottery clubs and seizure of 3000 equipments.

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