Russia Ramps Up War on Internet Gambling

Russia this week tightened the screws on banks and payment processors, ordering them to cleanse the names of unlicensed online operators from their client lists.

The Izvestia news agency has reported that the Russian media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has written to Russia’s largest bank, Sherbank, as well as payment processors Skrill and Yandex, ordering them to remove operators from their customer-base in compliance with the law.

Russia is in the midst of legalizing and regulating sports betting, a fact that has steeled its resolve to stamp out unregulated sites.

The state began ISP blocking online gambling websites around September 2015 after drawing up a blacklist that includes unlicensed domestic sites as well as large foreign operators, like 888, PokerStars and William Hill. Earlier this month it expanded that list to include, for the first time, payment processors, when both Skrill and Qiwi found themselves in Roskomnadzor’s line of fire.

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