Gambling laws in Russia are fairly restrictive. Only a few areas of the country are legally allowed to offer gambling options to locals and tourists. Recently, Russia’s government officially approved plans to allow gambling in Crimea.
Crimea remains at the center of major controversy. It wasn’t long ago that this former Ukrainian territory was officially taken over by Russia. Today, we’re looking at Russia’s decision to allow gambling in this territory.
Russia’s Annexation of Crimea is Still a Subject of Controversy
There’s a good chance that you’ve heard about Russia’s takeover of Crimea. Back in 2014, Russia officially took over this territory in the Black Sea, claiming it was a principle of the self-determination of the residents here. Most of the world disagrees with this idea.
Russia has a long and unique history with Crimea. In the 1800s, this territory was the site of an important Russian naval base. This base has been destroyed and rebuilt over the years, yet has served as one of the country’s most strategic military points.
Back in the mid-90s, Ukraine officially took over Crimea and gave Russia permission to keep its naval fleet there. Many officials in Russia believed Crimea was unrightfully taken away and claimed that a majority of residents here supported a Russian takeover.
In 2014, Russia officially annexed this territory. Many world leaders condemned this decision, claiming it violated international law. This sparked a major conflict between Russia and Ukraine that continues today.
Not long ago, Russia announced plans to allow gambling in Crimea. It was surprising news to hear, considering the country’s tough stance on the gambling industry.
Legal Gambling in Crimea is Just Around the Corner
As we’ve already mentioned, Russia has some unique laws towards the gambling industry. Throughout the Soviet era, gambling was completely illegal. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia began loosening its laws on casino gambling and sports betting.
Within just a few years, thousands of gambling venues began operating here. Many of these venues were purposely avoiding paying taxes. The government realized this and began to crack down on this industry.
In 2006, Russian lawmakers passed bill N 244-FZ. This prohibits all slot machine and table game gambling. Only four areas of the country can legally host casinos.
Today, only the “Yantarnaya” (Kaliningrad region), “Azov-city” (Krasnodar territory), “Siberian Coin” (Altay), and “Primorie” (Primorie region) areas can host casinos.
This area, dubbed the “Gold Coast,” will soon be legally able to have casinos. Exactly how many is still unknown.
Ukraine Set for Gambling Expansion, As Well
Ukraine was one of the most vocal critics of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and for good reason. Unfortunately, there appears to be little that this country can do.
Lawmakers in Ukraine have recently begun pushing to expand the country’s gambling industry. Allowing casinos in the Black Sea area, they argue, will help to boost tourism and generate additional revenue. In August, President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly supported these plans.
This week, Ukraine’s Parliament has officially released the full text of the bill to legalize casino gambling. To the surprise of many, the government here is set to legalize and regulate online casino gambling.
According to this text, Ukraine will allow 10 online casinos and 10 online sportsbooks to operate.
Gambling in Crimea will soon become available. Perhaps Russia and Ukraine will begin competing over which has the more lucrative gambling industry.
Stay tuned for more European gambling news over the next few months!
A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack. ...
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