When the Czars of Russia made a ruling, few dared to question that, and any signs of rebellion resulted in an exile in Siberia at the best. Today, a multi-billionaire who questioned Putin is still behind the wired fences at a labor camp. Other billionaires hide in England (at least you can bet on sports there easily).
So when the most powerful man in Russia, Vladimir Putin, declared gambling in Russia illegal, no one dared to question the new Russian gambling laws. Only four remote regions of this vast country were authorized to open up casinos.
Unfortunately, no Macau or Las Vegas was produced there, and many operators of these premises complain of weak revenues. At the same time, many gamble at online casinos in Russia, while others, especially Muscovites, flee to mafia casinos near the Russian capital.
This doesn’t make the political leaders happy. Now Duma, the Russian Parliament, is seeking to legalize Russian poker rooms and some other ways of gambling in several locations. Among the top places are Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.
Krasnodar and Sochi were also named. Interestingly, Sochi is already a major sea resort and will be hosting Winter Olympic Games in 2014. Putin, Medvedev, and other top brass are known of hanging out there.
There is no official comment yet. Everyone’s waiting for the approval of the returning President, ex-KGB agent who comes from Saint-Petersburg, the famous Vladimir Putin. The man just secured himself a third term.
If he says ”Da,” gambling will return to many places in the legal form. If he says ”Niet,” the underground betting will continue. As many will say, Duma will just rubber stamp his decision.