Russian Gambling Domains Blocked By Federal AuthoritiesOctober 28, 2015 12:13 pm
Russian authorities are currently clamping down on unregulated internet gaming operators, and this week blocked dozen of gambling sites that were deemed to be breaking the country’s gambling laws. Roskomnadzor, the federal media watchdog in charge of the operation, has now blocked domains belonging to some of the world’s biggest online gambling companies, with the list including names such as 888 Poker, Bwin.party, Betway, Ladbrokes, Unibet, Titan Poker, Marathon Bet, Pinnacle Sports, andJackpotCity.
Domestic Russian bookmakers, too, were targeted during the operation, including sites owned by Fonbet, Vulkan-Bet, Favbet, TrioBet, Liga Stavok, and 1xbet. These domains had previously had judgements issued against them by the Russian courts, but it looks like Roskomnadzor is now serious in enforcing the country’s anti-gambling laws. As Russia’s Finance Ministry stated recently:
“Under the law, citizens of Russia are prohibited from participating in gambling and lotteries in Russia and abroad, including the Internet.”
As the law currently stand, gambling is legal only in four specifically designated areas, whilst being illegal everywhere else inside the world’s largest country. In order to combat the hundreds of illegal sites popping up across the internet, a new bill has even been introduced to stop banks from processing internet gambling transactions. Furthermore, gambling operators are now required to register with a self-regulatory organization (SRO), which subsequently ensures all transactions are directed and monitored through the system, so that unlicensed, illegal operators can more easily be identified.
While Russia is busy clearing out those illegal sites currently flaunting the country’s gambling laws, one possible piece of positive news for gamblers is the suggestion that Russia may simply be preparing the online landscape for licensing and regulation further down the line. While this could simply be wishful thinking, the Russian economy is currently reeling under the pressure of international sanctions, and low oil prices, making this potential source of extra income more appealing to Russia.