This week President Putin introduced a new bill to clamp down on the gambling industry in Russia. The new bill entitled “About the State Regulation of Activities on Gambling” in currently in the project stage and has yet to be passed by the Russian Duma (government).
In regard to offline gambling, the new bill proposes to restrict activities to four chosen regions in Russia, two in the European side, one in Siberia and one in the Far East of the country. Owners of casinos in these regions will need to be Russian and have an operating capital of 600m rubles ($22m)
The part that worries the internet gambling industry is a small sentence in the proposal which promises to “place special restriction on any gambling activity involving the internet or telecommunications”. There is no note on how this may be enforced, to whom or any penalties that may be applied.
As Henry Karpov, an expert on gambling law commented,
Gambling in Runet is certainly under threat, whether this will be applied to both domestic and foreign owned casinos is yet to be seen but we expect some amendments to be made to this proposal before it is made law. The owners of casinos must pay close attention to this proposal and its future developments.
Although this bill seems aimed at the domestic gambling industry in Russia recent clampdowns by the US and Italy can not have gone by unnoticed. We will keep you updated on the progress and development of this project.