Besides banning land-based casinos in all but four regions of Russia, the law passed in 2006 also restricts gambling over the Internet. It prohibits domestic operators from offering online gaming, but does nothing to outlaw payments for gaming services made to foreign operators. Historically, Russia has never offered major online gambling opportunities. Limited mobile gaming with online support was offered through a few companies in 2004, but these options were closed in the 2006 legislation.
In late 2010, a bill was introduced proposing to fine gamblers (the individual persons) between 500 and 2,000 rubles for gambling activities outside the official gambling zones using mobile networks and the Internet. The bill stipulates that online casinos and poker rooms will remain illegal in Russia. The prior law targeted the organizers of gambling, not the individual.
As of early 2011, there is no online gambling legislation, licensing, or regulatory infrastructure in Russia. Residents of Russia wishing to gamble online must play at offshore-owned and offshore-operated websites.
In late 2012, the Russian Supreme Court ruled that no trace of online gambling should be accessible. Internet service providers face the loss of their license for providing any form of information relating to online betting. This ruling overturns a previous ruling by a court in Pskov ruling that Internet service provider Rostelecom did not have to block access to online gambling sites. The Supreme Court’s decision is based on the decision that providing access to restricted information is equal to disseminating it and therefore even sites only containing information in regards to online gambling (not actual gambling provided) must be blocked. The ruling has not yet been enforced and applied.
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