You only have to look back a few years ago in Russia to find that it was a completely different country back then in terms of gambling laws. Before a ban on the sport of poker came into force on July 1 2009, Russia’s gambling industry was doubling every couple of years. President Dimitry Medvedev brought the ban in just over a year ago to reduce addictions and clamp down on organised crime. It was enforced by banishing all casinos to four zones created by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Now that it has been driven underground, Bloomberg gained access to the illegal poker dens that continue to operate in the country, as explained in this article. The government has taken to the idea of shutting them down; the success has been minimal so far though. How can they turn down the tax money that will obviously come from widespread casinos though?
As an oil-rich nation they simply just don’t really need the money that badly. We would invite Putin to come and party at one of our iGaming parties, but having already shared drinks with Calvin Ayre it’s unlikely his mind could be changed on the matter.
Online gambling hasn’t gotten away from this, but is still widely played illegal in computer dens that the government is looking to clamp down on. In the lead up to the World Cup in 2018 though, it wouldn’t surprise anyone were they to relax the rules for a time around the tournament. Mr Blatter usually gets his own way, and it probably won’t be any different this time.