The gambling industry has had to deal with a rather bumpy history in today’s Russia. Evidence of the industry has been around for 100’s of year in the large nation, being documented as far back as 1698 when Tsar Peter the Great put together Russia’s first lottery.
Since then Russian gambling law has been all over the place and the industry has seen some serious swells, to say the least. For much of the last century gambling was considered illegal. Even a game of cards could be punished by law.
When the Soviet Union came to an end, laws loosened up and the gambling industry blossomed and, to be frank, went a little crazy. Slots halls sprouted up everywhere, especially in the capitol and fashioned a bit of an eyesore.
This all came to an end just a few short months ago when legislation changed and outlawed these facilities altogether. The gambling industry seems to have come to a screeching halt. Internet gambling in Russia is also frowned upon, though it still occurs on a day to day basis.
Many nationals play at online casinos in Russia because it’s really their only hope. The only casinos that Russian players visit are based in countries where gambling is legal and fall far outside the government’s jurisdiction.
Underground casinos also enjoyed a spike in popularity when regular gambling facilities became subject to prohibition. As a matter of fact, a more highfalutin version of the common underground casino was dug up the other day and, according to the cash within the facility, seemed to be doing very well.
The establishment was infiltrated by undercover agents who needed to exchange at least $3,000 in cash for chips upon entering. The facility apparently operated from 17:00 to 7:00 every day with one shift change of 12 individuals (2 administrators, 6 dealers and 4 guards). Overall around $3.2 million was collected by authorities in rubles, dollars and assorted casino chips. The establishment was home to 4 gaming tables and 21 slot machines.