Casinos operating in Russia

Casino Licensing in Russia

In Russia, the landscape for casino operations underwent significant changes in 2009 when the government implemented a new gambling law. This law restricted casino operations to four designated gambling zones: Kaliningrad Oblast, Altai Krai, Primorsky Krai, and the Krasnodar region. These areas were specifically chosen to help boost regional economies and to contain the spread of gambling activities within controlled environments.

Types of Gambling Licenses in Russia

  • Land-based Casino License: Operators looking to establish casinos in these zones must obtain a license from the Russian government. The licensing process involves strict criteria to ensure financial stability, responsible gambling measures, and adherence to local laws.
  • Online Gambling: Interestingly, while land-based casinos are restricted to specific zones, online gambling is outright banned throughout Russia. There are no licenses available for operating online casinos, and the government actively blocks access to foreign gambling websites.

Current Situation of the Online Casino Industry

Despite the official ban on online gambling, many Russians access online casino services through VPNs and other methods to circumvent government restrictions. This indicates a persistent demand for online gambling, even in the face of legislative prohibitions.

The Russian authorities continue to enforce strict measures against online gambling, including the use of internet service providers to block access to known gambling sites and financial restrictions on transactions associated with online betting. These efforts are part of a broader crackdown on online gambling, which the government views as a potential source of crime and social disarray.

Enforcement and Regulation

The Federal Tax Service of Russia is responsible for overseeing all gambling activities within the designated zones and for enforcing the ban on online gambling. The regulatory environment is quite rigid, with heavy penalties for non-compliance, reflecting the government’s serious approach to controlling gambling activities.

Future of Gambling in Russia

There is ongoing debate within Russia about the effectiveness and economic impact of the existing gambling policy. Some proponents argue for a more liberal approach, suggesting that regulated online gambling could provide significant tax revenues and reduce the flow of money to unregulated, offshore sites. However, any changes to the current legislation would require careful consideration of the social and economic implications.


The Russian casino market is tightly controlled, with land-based operations limited to specific regions and a complete prohibition on online gambling. This restrictive approach aims to limit the social issues associated with gambling while still allowing some economic benefits from tourism in the designated gambling zones. Here you can find Casinos operating in Russia.

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