Russia’s perplexing stance on gambling in the Motherland has taken another confusing turn after the country’s lawmakers recently adopted amendments that basically called for “gambling addiction” as a legal basis for curtailing the way they live their lives.
According to RT.com, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed the amendments late last week, essentially laying down the law against individuals who are deemed as having alcohol, drug, or gambling addictions. “Incompetent” is how these individuals are being described and, according to the amended legislation, anybody who puts their family into difficult financial situations because of the aforementioned reasons will be placed under guardianship, essentially cutting off their rights and putting them in the hands of another person who will be responsible for getting the incompetent person’s finances in order. The latter will still have access to minor transactions, but for the most part, these people will not have any say on any financial splurges in the time that they are under guardianship.
To be fair, Russia isn’t the first country to adopt this approach on its loosely defined gambling addicts. The Ukraine was actually the first one to do so, initially banning all forms of gambling that aren’t lotteries back in 2009 and then upping the ante last year by restricting the civil rights of its ‘gambling abusers.’
While a lot of folks will undoubtedly deem this is as a radical approach to combat gambling addiction, It’s not all that surprising in a country whose recent positions on gambling have been a little “out there”, to say the least. Remember, it was only four years ago when the country decided to ban all casinos and gambling clubs all over the country, leaving only four legal gambling zones for which the industry can set up shop on. The problem is those zones aren’t exactly the most lucrative of tourist destinations and the country has struggled to get an investor to commit on any of the four Siberian zones. That move hasn’t exactly reduced the number of casinos across the country; a lot of them just went underground and are being protected by some of the country’s government officials. Somewhere, some dinky Russian gambling club are probably toasting vodka to that. On top of that, the country’s Supreme Court also issued a stern warning to internet service providers if they even go so far as to commit the heinous crime of talking about online gambling.
And now that this latest legislation is expected to come into effect as soon as the Putin-signed amendments are published, we can only wonder what kind of other steps Russia makes in the future when it comes to their increasingly dumbfounding stance on gambling.