Russia Gets Strict on Unauthorized Foreign Gambling Websites

russia online gamblingWhen the government of Russia rolled out the new gambling rules that prohibited banking institutions from dealing with offshore gambling websites that are operating without a valid Russian license, few banks and payment processors were reluctant to comply.

Earlier in May this year, the banks were instructed to stop all the payments related to unauthorised online gambling operators. It is so because the government wants to tighten its existing gambling regulations and to protect the interests of its citizens.

This new measure was implemented by the state-owned Sberbank in last month. As a result, all the local punters could not deposit money in their international gambling accounts.

Kommersant, the Russian newspaper, stated that only 3 Russia based banks namely VTB, Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank are adhering to the new rules set up by the government. However, it is interesting to note these three banks started complying with the new regulations after repeated reminders from the Ministry of Finance.

Blame Placed on Federal Tax Service

According to some media reports, the banking institutions were not obeying the new gambling rules, and they were actually waiting for the FTS or Federal Tax Service to provide them with the complete list of illegal foreign gambling sites operating in Russia.

However, FTS was not prepared to provide such data, and it caused unwanted delays. Hence banks did not receive the necessary records including a list of affiliated payment partners.

Rozomndzor Threatens Google

Rozomndzor, the telecommunication watchdog of Russia, last month has intensified the crackdown on unauthorised online gambling websites and has blocked more than 50,000 domains. Now the total number of blocked casino websites is more than 100,000; which significantly increased from 63,000 last year.

The famous search engine giant, Google, can be imposed a fine to the tune of $10,600 for its failure to deal with blocked domains in Russia. The watchdog has issued a legal threat against this search engine company because the blocked domains continue to show up in search results on the local computers.

Previously, Google had refused to remove the Russian language online casino advertisements from YouTube in spite of repeated reminders from Rozomndzor. Azino777, which is a foreign online casino operator with licensing from Curacao is promoting and marketing itself via YouTube channel featuring Russian hip-hop stars. Some of the big and reputed online casino operators are placing their advertisements and promoting themselves on file sharing sites.

As a result of which, the Russian politicians are calling legislation to penalise entertainers who are being paid to promote the online unauthorised gambling websites. Edward Isakov, the Duma member, is drafting a bill to punish such entertainers. The Central Bank of Russia will instruct all managers and agents to carefully check the online gambling sites whether they hold a valid Russian license before signing the deal.


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