While online gaming – including online poker – is not currently legal in Russia, it hasn’t stopped most online gaming operators from offering services to country’s 144 million residents.
However, it may become more difficult for online gaming companies to operate within Russia due to a new Finance Bill introduced by the country’s Finance Ministry, which if passed would prohibit banks from processing any online gaming transactions. The bill has strong support, including that of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is believed to have pushed for the bill to be presented to the country’s legislators.
While this bill, if passed, would amend the country’s anti-money laundering laws, it is believed the bill’s main goal is to enforce the country’s ban on online gaming.
“Under the law, citizens of Russia are prohibited from participating in gambling and lotteries in Russia and abroad, including via the Internet,” the Finance Ministry stated to the Russian news outlet Kommersant.
Curiously enough, Poker Industry Pro reported that the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, which is typically responsible for instituting measures to combat money laundering and terrorist activities, does not support the proposed bill.
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