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Online Casino Sites Under Pressure in Russia

In the last three years, gambling has increased substantially in Russia and particularly in Moscow, thanks to the Russian love of online casino sites. This rapid growth has increased pressure on the government to legalize various forms of gambling, including gambling at offshore online casino sites. However, instead of considering the legality issue, the government has decided to combat the increased advertising in Russia that promotes and endorses gambling at online casino sites.

Indeed so popular has the online casino industry become in Russia that it may soon rival Asia as one of the world’s fastest-growing gambling markets. The Russian government’s fears that gambling at online casino sites could reach epidemic proportions has recently prompted it to introduce new legislation aimed at curbing advertising on behalf of online casinos. Under the new legislation, advertising services provided by online casinos will be illegal from 10pm until 7am on radio and television. Posters and billboard advertising for online casinos in railway stations, bus stations and subway stations is prohibited at all times.

The new legislation also bans internet advertisements for online casino sites. While the legislation is not expected to be implemented fully until July, the decision to explicitly ban internet advertising has already had far-reaching implications for the online casino industry. Leading Russian search engine, Yandex, recently removed several gaming advertisements from their pay-per-click and banner advertising channels.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.