Russia Purges Cities of Illegal Gambling After Passing Bill

Alexey Navalni housearrest

With implementation of new bill, online gambling websites are being censored and heavily fined.

What do Kaliningrad, Krasnodar, Altay, Primorskiy Krai, Sochi and Crimea all have in common? Well, they are the only states in Russia where the Russian gambling laws allow them to practice betting. All others states have been banned from doing so.

That doesn’t stop operators in other regions of Russia though from taking the risk of indulging in illegal betting, which may cost them more than they bargained for. The Russian government has decided that illegal gambling outfits shall incur heavier sentences.

Up to now, gambling outfits which generate revenues were confined to ‘light’ punishments. However as the outfits tend to close down and reopen elsewhere, more austere measures seemed necessary.

The State Duma (parliament) implemented a bill, targeting online and mobile casino gambling operators. Fines have increased to half a million roubles. However if the offending party is a legal entity, the fines soar to a $25,967 (RUB 1.5 million).

Moreover, a jail sentence or home arrest of up to four years are also order to do away with illegal gambling related activities. Slots and other gaming materials are seized and confiscated in increased raids.

Russian authorities justify the crackdown around the country by declaring that they have to remain firm in the face of corruption. Furthermore, what may be behind the bill is Russia’s need to appear spotless as international news focus on its rampant corruption.

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