Update Report on Gaming Legislation in Russia

Update Report on Gaming Legislation in Russia
Nov 17, 2021peter

In the early 2000s gambling in Russia was restricted to four gambling zones and banned from the rest of the territory, bearing in mind the reputation and the general (negative) view on games of chance by the whole community. Changes started with the introduction of an interactive bet in 2014 and created a legal basis for online betting (not casinos). The gambling act defines two types of licenses those being (i) casino license (casino, slot machines and poker) and (ii) sports betting license (betting shops and totalizators).

In contrast to gambling, which is only permitted in special “gambling” zones in Russia (primarily located outside of major cities), sports betting is generally allowed subject to licensing and other requirement being met by the betting companies.

In December 2020 a new law was adopted in Russia enhancing the current regulations on gambling and sports betting. The key novelties refer to (i) the obligation of betting operators to make payments towards national sport federations (1.5% of their quarterly turnover and not less than EUR 350.000 per quarter); (ii) introduction of a new regulator (Unified Regulator for Gambling) overseeing the above-mentioned obligation towards sport federations; and (iii) introduction of a centralized accounting for betting (hub for accounting and payouts).

Future developments on the gambling market will most probably go in direction of setting up better legislative frame bearing in mind that the State Duma is considering introduction of another law in order to eliminate current loopholes in the legislation and to prevent gambling under the veil of lottery games.

In respect of e-sports the same enjoys popularity and the online bookmakers receive bets on e-sports in the same way the do for any other sport.

Online casino games stay prohibited in Russia and are not likely to be allowed in the foreseeable future. Main tool of the authorities against non-licensed online casinos remains to be the ISPs blocking.

Article originally published in Casino Life Ukraine Issue 07 November 2021

DISCLAIMER: Law Firm Anđelović, Siketić & Tomić d.o.o. wish to avoid inaccuracies and, whilst every precaution has been taken to ensure that information contained in this report is accurate, no liability is accepted for errors or omissions, however caused.