The world will soon watch in awe as countless fans will soon flock to the country of Russia for the global spectacle that is 2018 World Cup competition. A large number of these fans will surely want to enjoy a bet or two on their favorite team in the competition but are unsure of the laws pertaining to sports wagering in Russia.
The main question that will surely be asked is whether or not gambling is legal in Russia. The simple answer is yes, but a more complicated picture emerges when a deeper investigation is performed.
Gambling is completely legal in a number of zones in Russia but is heavily regulated in others. Both lotteries that are run by the state and sports betting is legal everywhere in the country. There are a limited number of operational sportsbooks available in the country with the most noted among them being 888.ru, Leon, and Winline being amongst the industry leaders.
The unfortunate reality of life in Russia is that online gambling is disallowed. Some argue that this ban should not be extended to poker because it is a card game based on skill. The outlawing of casino games have been in place since April of 2017.
Individuals desiring the online gaming experience in Russia have been taking advantage of a loophole in the law by wagering with foreign gaming entities. However, the Russian government has taken a step to curb this trend by requiring Internet Service Providers to make gambling related websites inaccessible to devices within the country.
A Quick History
The history of gambling in Russia dates back to the time period immediately following the Russian Revolution in 1917. Eleven years later, a ban was placed on the popular past time after the territory came under Soviet rule.
The ban on gambling remained until slot machines were placed at hotels that were under the management of the Soviet State Committee on Tourism in 1988. The first gambling house in the country was opened for operations a year later and by the year 2002, more than 50 full service casinos were in existence.
Gambling was allowed in the country without restriction until 2009 when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin received information that gambling was a main instigator in the rise of organized crime that was seen in his country. .
The government allowed four zones in the country to continue with the legal right to provide gambling to patrons in parts due to the country being slated to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Russia does not collect taxes on gambling in the country. The country allows the states to oversee this process and taxes are collected only when gamblers win. The income tax rate for a single person in Russia is 13 percent.
The black market in Russia for gambling has thrived since the ban by Putin was put in place. Experts have suggest that as little as one-fourth of the nearly $12 billion wagered in Russia each year goes to an accepted gambling platform.
The irony here is that the efforts Putin has made to curb the gambling black market has seemed to be the fuel for the process of these illegal ventures to become more profitable.