The Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, simply known as Roskomnadzor, has blocked 1,882 sites with gambling content in just a week, according to data released in the Rublacklist website. With gambling being extremely restricted in the country, the federal regulator is constantly monitoring unlicensed online platforms that offer real-money games and sports betting.
The latest statistics were published Tuesday by Betting Business Russia (BBR), an independent online magazine focused on the gaming and betting industry. According to the media outlet, Roskomnadzor has blocked 1882 gambling sites in the period from 8 to 14 April. The magazine estimates that in that period, Russia’s communications regulator has blocked 806 platforms that represent online casinos, online lotteries or Internet poker rooms. The calculations were based on the latest entries in the Rublacklist registry. The Rublacklist/Roskomsvoboda is a site by a civil organization which purpose is countering censorship on the Internet.
The data, collected by BBR shows that a large number of the blocked sites during the past week include the so-called “mirror” content, i.e. the content on these sites is a copy. The most copied site, with 298 blocked domains, is Fonbet, the country’s largest sportsbook operator. There were also 146 blocked mirror sites of Parimatch, 94 sites copying BC Leonbets, 82 sites that mirrored Marathonbet, and 61 mirror sites of Zenitbet. The rest of the copied gambling sites include 1xBet (53), Olimp (51), Winline (41), Betcity (38), Baltbet (29), and Liga Stavok (11).
Despite not offering gambling content, another 172 websites were blocked in the period April 8 to April 14. The magazine explains that these sites publish information on bookmakers, casinos, gambling machines, and sweepstakes.
Over 7,000 Gambling Sites Blocked in March
According to the data available in the Rublacklist, Roskomnadzor blocked 7398 sites with gambling content in the period from March 1 to March 31. The regulator blocked 62,734 gambling sites in 2017 – these sites include online casinos, online lotteries, sportsbooks and poker rooms. In addition, there were many websites that did not offer any form of gambling and instead, was blacklisted only for providing gambling-related information.
Russia has strict anti-gambling laws that prohibit almost any form of betting or real-money games. In 2006, the country passed legislation that banned all types of online gambling, while in 2009, a law prohibited land-based casinos, sportsbooks and bingo halls except in four designated zones. Today, these zones are Kaliningrad Region, Primorsky Region, Altai and Krasnodar. Last year, the Sochi Casino and Resort opened in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, as the largest and most diverse casino facilities across Russia. It was intended as the nation’s newest gambling destination boosted by the region’s booming tourist industry.