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Russia’s State Duma Brings Online Betting Regulation Changes amid Gambling Crackdown

Russia is well on its way to introduce significant changes to its gaming industry and its online sector in particular with the help of brand new regulation which was approved today. The State Duma gave its nod to a crucial amendment to the existing gambling law regulating the field which would see a simplification of the rules applied to the identification of players willing to place interactive bets and to wager online on sports events.

This Tuesday saw the official review of a draft bill which has the potential to reshape the gaming field of Russia and introduce a breath of fresh air to it. The long-anticipated ruling came this morning as state lawmakers gave green light to the bill proposed by a group overseen by Andrei Lugovoy, Deputy of the State Duma also associated with the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. According to the language of the approved bill, Russian companies operating under sports betting licenses issued by the country would see a change to the regulation directly affecting them.

Gambling enthusiasts across Russia would still have to provide the appropriate identification, however, thanks to the new regulation double identification and the existing unnecessarily complicated process would be eliminated. Up to this point, the redundantly complex registration requirement has been among the main reasons why Russian players prefer foreign bookmakers and their simplified gaming offerings. TSUPIS centralized online betting payments hub is what has been a mandatory feature, as it keeps a close eye on all online transactions occurring.

Roskomnadzor Protects Online Gaming Field’s Integrity

Russia has been conducting a gambling crackdown for many months now and the results are evident. The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media or Roskomnadzor, as the service is often referred to has managed to block as many as 3213 gambling web pages from operating in the country over the first week of September. Among them are sites to the likings of Parimatch, Marathonbet and BC Fonbet, among others, featuring a multitude of domains.

When it comes to the online casinos, lotteries, and poker rooms willing to operate within Russia’s online space, the first seven days of September brought the blocking of 1,722 of them. Back in August, the number of unauthorizes online gaming domains managed to reach some 14,500. The surge in comparison to the banned domains over the entire 2017 reached nearly 270 percent, further proving the tough task of the regulator.

Projected Effect of the New Rules

Illegal gambling has been eyed for many years now and its negative impact could be avoided with the help of the amendments to the existing gambling regulation. Turnover generated through this kind of operation is projected to be reduced significantly after the implementation of the new measures. This, in turn, is expected to rake in higher tax revenue allocated to the Russian Federation’s coffers and ultimately benefiting the community, instead of criminals and the gray area.

Sports betting is considered the only legal online gaming offering for the time being. As much as 60 percent of the wagering taking place online in Russia rakes in revenue for websites operating under Russian licensing, leaving the remaining 40 percent to foreign rival companies. Following the greenlighting of the amendment, this percentage is expected to see changes for the better. Upcoming weeks woudl see more development on the case.

It could be recalled that this spring brought some changes as the government of the country considered the implementation of new rules. They were going to see the country blocking payments to some offshore gambling services, essentially affecting entities in the field. The last days of the month of May witnessed the new law taking effect, which resulted in the banks putting an end to their work with offshore payments processors and gaming entities.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.