Russia Trying to Close Online Gambling Loophole

Published Thursday, December 09, 2010 -

The efforts in Russia to keep gambling in it’s place out of sight and out of mind have taken on a new and more restrictive attitude recently.
Back in 2009 the Russian government decided it would prohibit gambling everywhere except in four far flung regions of the vast country. Apparently this action has been sum what effective in stemming the proliferation of casinos and betting stalls in the major cities in Russia. Sports wagering was the only type of gambling that was left out of the prohibition measures.
A new bill that has been introduced by Ivan Savvidi, proposes fines of up to 2000 roubles to be imposed on individuals gambling outside of the official gambling zones by applying the use of mobile networks and the internet. Savvidi commented to the, “Previously the law only concerned organisers of gambling, and now the gamblers themselves will also be responsible,”  This puts a lid on the online poker and casino activities that have been popular since the government ban on gambling in Russia.
Explaining the urgency of the proposed bill a note was added suggesting underage gambling is taking place and this bill will curtail the problem.
Russian entrepreneurs have been circumventing the current ban by changing the name of their establishments. They have continued to operate as elite lottery clubs, and the number of computer clubs went from 23 to 98 in Moscow. The crack down on these information service clubs has been swift with the closing down recently of 78 so called lottery clubs and the seizure of over 3000 pieces of equipment. There is asecond bill waiting to be approved that attempts to define illegal slot machines more clearly in order to close various loopholes. Federation Council member Alexander Pochinok who is proposing the second bill said, “I have been looking for a definition of slot machine for a long time and finally found it,” adding, “It is the most important part of my bill.” If the amendments are accepted, using of these machines will be banned.


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