Russian authorities have taken down an illegal online gambling operation that police claim was reaping US $1.5m in “daily earnings.” The Interior Ministry released a statement accusing the group behind the site of having “organized gambling games on the internet under the guise of bookmaking activity in violation of Russian legislation.”
In 2009, Russia banished all forms of gambling to four largely inaccessible regions, creating a vacuum that plucky Russian entrepreneurs have been only too eager to fill. Last month, Russia announced its most recent wave of police actions had resulted in the closure of 662 illegal casinos, including a subterranean gaming joint set up to serve illegal Asian immigrants slaving away in the garment trade.
In the most recent bust, police said organizers had registered the unidentified online site “abroad” and clients were able to fund their online accounts via “various electronic payment systems and bankcards.” To collect winnings, punters could visit one of over 900 physical betting offices the organizers operated within Russia. Police claimed to have confiscated the gambling ring’s servers, as well as “a database of players’ personal data, draft notes and other documents.”
Meanwhile, the upcoming Russian Gaming Week 2013 conference has announced the first wave of operators to confirm their participation. Among those making the trip to Minsk on Nov. 27-28 will be sports betting outfits Unionbet and MeridianBet, online casino platform OutcomeBet, casino equipment systems manufacturer CMS, gaming chip manufacturer Ceramic Chips, gaming solutions and casino equipment provider SET-Production, 2WinPower (the folks behind Blazer-Casino.com) and land-based and online platform provider BetConstruct. Further info is available at RGW’s official site, Minsk.rgweek.ru. Failure to attend will result in Vladimir Putin showing up at your doorstep and staring at you silently for hours on end. But hey, no pressure.