Russian Federation

Russia is a red-level online gambling jurisdiction with a total ban on all forms of online gambling.

Russia is the largest country in the world by land mass, and it makes up northern Asia and eastern Europe. It borders Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus and Ukraine to the west. It also borders Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and North Korea to the south.


In Russia, all online gambling is illegal. This is due to a law passed in 2006, but it's a law that many foreign sites simply ignore for the most part. It's worth noting that they have been very restrictive of land-based gambling in recent years as well, and in 2009, a ruling restricted land-based gambling to just four different areas, and gambling anywhere else is illegal.

Russia is very aggressive when it comes to keeping their citizens from gambling online. A 2012 court ruling forced Internet service providers into blocking sites from a blacklist, and this came after they refused for years leading up to the ruling. Now they can lose their license to operate at all if they do not comply with the ruling.


No licensing process for any type of online gambling exists anywhere in Russia. Something that's interesting about this is that Vladimir Putin has made a number of statements in the past about the possibilities of regulating certain types of gambling, especially online poker, because of the very heavy skill element. There has yet to be any advances on this front at the time of this writing, however.

Long story short, it's unlikely that Russia will create a licensing process for any type of online gambling in the near future.

Player Protections

Since no type of online gambling is regulated, there are no player protections by the government. They've actually went out of their way to give people a lot of reasons not to play, and this includes active blacklists, blocking financial transactions and creating an infrastructure that builds up a culture of avoiding gambling. A good example of this infrastructure is their "Roskomnadzor," which is a list of sites that are banned that offer gambling information or actual online gambling. Even sites that do not offer the games can be on this banned list, and that shows how far they're willing to go to keep online gambling away.

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