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Google to Assist Russian Authorities in Blocking Online Casino Sites
- January 22, 2019 By Riley Wilson -
When it comes to regulating online gambling, Russia has some of the strictest regulations in the world.
And all those online casino sites which don’t comply with these regulations are blocked from accessing the Russian market and its players.
Among those names which are not allowed to operate in Russia are some well-known industry players, such as 888, Bet365, Betfair, Betfred, Ladbrokes, Unibet and William Hill.
The telecommunication watchdog, Roskomnadzor, is tasked with blacklisting unwanted online operators. The ever-vigil regulator is constantly putting pressure on Google to block these sites from appearing in search results on its Russian domain. In total, Roskomnadzor has so far blacklisted more than 14,500 sites.
According to the latest news, Google has made a surprising move, finally deciding to assist the Russian authorities when it comes to preventing unlicensed online casino sites from appearing on search results. The move comes shortly after the search engine was issued a $7,500 fine for not providing help earlier.
A Move No One Expected
The move is surprising as blocking access to online gambling sites is not a usual practice for Google. Even the fine itself is not a big one, especially for a company Google’s size and stature. However, there is a possibility the company made this decision to avoid future fines, which could have gone up to 1% of the tech giant’s gross revenue or $6.4 million.
Commenting on Google’s decision to finally give in to the pressure of the regulator, Roskomnadzor‘s deputy chief Vadim Subbotin said the state would have made changes tot he law, applying most severe punishment possible if the two sides had come to a dead end.
Russia’s federal state information system (FGIS) will make sure the tech company does as requested, omitting any unwanted online sites from search results. The FGIS has a database of all known online casino sites that can be automatically cross-referenced to anything that might show up in search results.
This is an interesting move that could give example to other governments around the world, readily waiting to use Google to block whatever content they want.
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