The Supreme Court in the Russian Federation ruled that in order to disable user access to illegal gambling websites, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must block players from reaching the operations or face losing their service providing license.
Recently, in a case heard in the Pskov City Court, ISPs were actually relieved from blocking access to online gambling in Russia. In the court case, prosecutors wanted Rostelecom, a local internet service provider, to block access to online gambling sites. Their proposal was dismissed by the court on the grounds that “online gambling is prohibited, providing access is not”.
Temporarily, Russian online casinos and ISPs were relieved, but not for a long time. A more recent Russian Supreme Court ruling introduced draconian internet censorship rulings. The highest Russian court used “very sharp language” to state that it is unlawful to “disseminate the information restricted by federal law as well provide access to it”.
Anton Maltsev, an internet and gambling expert from the renowned law firm Barker & McKenzie told Russian gambling news: “Although internet service providers used to be able to wait until a site appeared on an official blacklist, the ruling implies that they risk going out of business simply by not blocking illegal content”.
According to The Maltsev’s point of view, the Russian Supreme Court ruling implies that “compliance with content restrictions could be a licensing requirement.”
Violators of the Federal Russian gambling law are immediately put on an official blacklist of the Justice Ministry. The list already contains over 1,500 blacklisted websites and online gambling operations.