Interior Ministry Police Forces closed down the largest online casino in Russia. The official representative of the Ministry, Ms. Larisa Zhukova, told RIA News that the casino’s estimated daily profits were around 200,000 rubles ($7,000 US). Ms. Zhukova disclosed that the yet unnamed owner, 33 years of age, as well as five employees of the online casino were all taken into custody.
The Interior Ministry revealed that – “the casino generated about 200 thousand rubles daily. During its lifespan, hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit profits were laundered through foreign banks by use of complex financial manipulations. The now untraceable illicit profits were eventually invested with offshore companies.”
The Ministry spokesperson went on to add that the casino was set up ten years ago using foreign made online casino technology, yet the administration was carried out on Russian territory, which is forbidden by the current Russian gambling laws. “Anyone who bet just 50 rubles automatically became a member. The online casino offered a wide selection of gambling options including online slot machines, roulette, virtual blackjack tables, and poker – over 470 games in total,” Ms. Zhukova announced.
Although the name of the casino wasn’t officially disclosed, using the information provided by the interior ministry, it was possible to work out that the casino in question is Goldfishka, the largest online casino in Russia. As mentioned in the official statement, the online casino which was raided had over 470 game titles. Since Microgaming is the only casino platform which offers that many games, and only one online casino in all of Russia is powered by Microgaming, all facts point to Goldfishka as the casino referred to by the Interior Ministry.
The members of Interior Ministry “K” agency raided residences of a criminal group responsible for operating the casino, as well as the office of the organization directly involved in the withdrawal of the casino’s profits.
The Agency’s official stated: “We discovered and seized computer equipment, through which the management and administration of casino site was carried out, and cash amounting to more than 27 million rubles (close to $1,000,000).”
The suspects are likely to stand trial under Article 171 of the Criminal Code (illegal business), and if convicted will each face at least five years in prison.