Covering an area of over 17 million square kilometers, the Russian Federation is the largest country in the world and with over 146 million residents, it is the ninth most populated. The country is considered a high-income market economy which is driven by natural resources, agriculture, and science and technology among other things. Russia has undergone a series of significant changes over the past century and it has evolved into a constitutional republic.
Like the country itself, gambling in Russia has undergone some major changes. All forms of gambling were prohibited in 1928 but the ban was lifted in 1989 and the first gambling operations began to spring up. More changes to Russian gambling laws resulted in an explosion of gaming facilities. The Federal Sports Agency was tasked with issuing gambling licenses in 2002 and pretty soon the country was saturated with betting establishments. As might be expected, this rapid growth led to an alarming increase in problem gambling and corruption. The government responded in late 2006 by passing Federal Law 244 which limited gambling businesses to operating in four designated zones. In the west, there are the Kaliningrad and Krasnodar regions. The Siberian Coin region is situated in south-central Russia and the Primorie region is located in southeastern Russia. All gambling operations outside of these designated zones were immediately shut down.
Online gambling in Russia is prohibited but players are not prosecuted. Authorities have compiled a blacklist and have blocked several sites. The government is also looking at a law that would force payment processors to block transactions between unlicensed gaming sites and Russians.
Top 10 Gambling Sites for Russia
What are the Best Gambling Sites and Promotions for Russians?
Even though many sites are blacklisted and blocked, today’s technology makes it easy to access them and most of the highest-rated brands in online gaming accept bets from Russians. This means that Russian online casino fans can get their hands on some great bonuses too. Nordicbet and Youwin are all known for providing a wide selection of gaming options and fast payouts. €100 in casino betting bonuses are available at Jetbull and LSbet as well as at Slots Magic and Betmotion. Russian online casino players are getting in on the €200 casino betting bonuses that are available at Casino 777 and Carnival Casino and many are taking advantage of the generous €300 welcome bonuses that Betfair and 10Bet are all giving away. If you are looking for a really big online casino bonus then you will love the $2,000 casino welcome bonuses at Lucky Star Casino or 18Bet.
Russian online gambling aficionados can find many more awesome casino bonuses at Gamblingjudge.com. Don’t forget to read the in-depth reviews that will help you choose the best online gaming site.
How Regulated is the Russian Gambling Market?
The Russian gambling market has gone through many changes as it has slowly evolved into what is today. Presently, online betting in Russia is illegal and therefore unregulated. The government has taken steps to enforce this ban such as blocking websites and blocking financial transactions between residents and foreign sites. Excluding, the lottery, all forms of gambling are illegal except in the previously mentioned four zones where the Russian government is the regulatory authority.
Is Gambling Legal in Russia? What is the Legal Age?
Outside of the four designated zones, gambling in Russia is illegal with the exception of the lottery which is a state monopoly. Some bingo games are somehow exempt and, along with the lottery, are offered online. Russian authorities appear to be softening their anti-online gambling stance by issuing gambling licenses to a couple of sports betting operators. The legal gambling age here is 18.
Does Russia Tax Gambling Winnings?
A 13% tax is applied to all gambling income in Russia. Some taxes are withheld at the source but, in most cases, the income must be declared on the winner’s income tax form. In order to collect your winnings from a bookmaker or casino, the player is required to produce a passport. It is also noteworthy that taxes also apply to material prizes. Winners of such prizes are required to pay up to 35% of the prize value.
What Currency and Payment Methods do Russian Players Generally Use?
The official currency of Russia is the ruble and it is accepted all over the country. Russian players who want to deposit or withdraw from an online gaming site have a few easy options. Players may find that credit card transactions and bank transfers are declined due to new rules that require financial institutions to block such transactions but Russian online gamblers still have options. QIWI and WebMoney are popular but the most common method is the use of eWallets such as Neteller, Skrill, and EntroPay. Russian online players are urged to check with their preferred website to find out what easy options are available.