Russian gambling ban sees rise in online gambling

Russian operators choose ingenious alternatives

Moscow authorities are expressing concern about the rise of "surrogate" gambling technologies such as lottery machines and online gambling three months after an almost total ban on gambling in Russia, reports the Associated Press news agency.

Since July 1 this year (see previous InfoPowa reports), legal gambling in Russia has been confined to four far-flung geographical areas where no casinos have opened yet, and operators have had to undergo complicated re-licensing.

Deputy Mayor Sergei Baidakov in Moscow said Monday that about a third of the capital's 525 casinos and slot machine parlours are now selling instant lottery tickets. He also said the number of Internet cafes providing access to online gambling has tripled since July.

Russia's gambling industry had a turnover of $3.6 billion last year and employed about 400 000 people.

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