Russia Blocks Online Gambling Transactions

Published Saturday, October 17, 2015 -
Russia Blocks Online Gambling Transactions

Gambling is banned in Russia other than in four designated territories in Vladivostok, Altai Territory, Kaliningrad and the Azov Sea/Black Sea area. In July 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law to allow gambling zones to also be set up in Crimea and Sochi. The internet however is everywhere so the Russian government has been trying through legislated laws to curb its use for online gambling. Russia holds a stringent stance against online gambling, and has blocked access to websites by restricting regional ISPs.  Putin signed a bill last December that imposes tougher penalties on illegal gambling operators in the country. The bill outlines the new measures for illegal gambling websites and operators. With this bill, fines can also be levied on unlicensed gambling activities in venues situated outside the government-designated zones.

Recently a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) was formed as part of a wider effort to combat illegal betting and in January of 2015 the government is reportedly began blocking online gambling payments methods in order to prevent any fraud in a new internet betting framework. Gambling operators are now required to register with the SRO, with one of its functions to include a payment processing system. This system will see all funds from gambling  channelled through the system in order for the SRO and authorities to monitor transactions. The SRO will be able to monitor which operators are offering services under a licence and identify those that are operating illegally without a permit.

Strengthening the law with more legislated rules is the Russian government’s goal. Russia’s Finance Ministry has now taken steps to consolidate its position by introducing a new Finance Bill that, when passed, would prohibit banks from processing online gambling transactions similar to the action taken in 2006 by the USA.  Search engine giant Google removed ads for online gambling and apologized to Russia for any errors it may have made contravening the current rules in the country.


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