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Russia’s Regulator Continues War on Unlicensed Gambling Websites
- July 12, 2016 By Nemanja L. -
Russia have clearly decided to leave no stones unturned as they hope to create a regulated gambling market, and they have continued to restrict access to websites that do not comply with their set of guidelines.
According to Izvestia, Roskomnadzor has adopted a strict policy of blocking access to unlicensed gaming operators, while doing the same with affiliate websites promoting those companies.
The media regulator has already achieved some very good results, shutting down over 6,000 gambling and affiliate websites since October 2015, while their latest action suggests the trend is going to continue in the foreseeable future.
Roskomnadzor has blocked no fewer than 118 online casinos and online sportsbooks from 8th June to 21st June alone, while at the same time blocking over 50 gambling applications in the App Store and Google Play market.
The media regulator has clearly decided to try and protect the country’s residents from illicit gambling websites and also web portals promoting such services, but it remains to be seen whether their efforts will increase the number of operators adhering to the new legal framework.
At the start of the year, the Russian Parliament announced their plans to block all illegal gaming operators targeting Russian gamers, with 888, Unibet, Betway and Triobet already on the blacklist.
Only operators complying with TSUPIS payment processing guidelines and money transfer codes will be allowed to offer their services to Russian residents, with leading media portals now in danger of being penalised as well.
Leading Media Outlets Could Face Fines
According to reports, Roskomnadzor is undergoing an investigation into the dealings of media outlets such as campionat.com and express.ru, who will receive fines if they are found guilty of promoting illegal gaming websites.
Bookmakers targeting the Russian market have found it increasingly difficult to comply with the latest protocols, while they are also required to give 5 percent of their total revenue back to Russian sports associations.
Online sports betting is still in its infancy in one of world’s most populous countries, with Liga Stavok currently the only online betting website
And while Roskomnadzor has so far blocked thousands of websites, their fines for illegal operators and their customers are not that great after all, so they should probably think about enforcing stricter penalties.