Russia urges stricter control over iGaming

The Government of Russia has required VPN (virtual private networks) services to strengthen the control over iGaming platforms.

Russia.- The iGaming industry development would be further limited by the Russian Government, as Calvin Ayre reported. Based on a local newspaper’s evaluation, the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor) has urged virtual private networks (VPN) services to set stricter conditions of access to international websites, including online gaming platforms.

As part of a nationwide plan against gaming industry, the Government of Russia has created a list of prohibited online operators. The iGaming sector currently fears a destabilisation due to a possible blocking of online payment services. The measure was announced earlier this year and it was introduced as a weapon to beat illegal casino operations through internet offerings.

Online companies are concerned that Russia’s crackdown on several internet sectors may affect the free access to websites in general. In particular, VPN services are expected to be completely banned if policies against online domains keep getting approved. Furthermore, the negative perspective in the country grew as authorities are allegedly preparing a law to expand the power of Roskomnadzor, which would jeopardise the technology and communications companies’ operations.

On the other hand, land-based casino sector seems to keep growing with the approval of further gaming zones, such as Primorye. However, the Government is planning to increase tax conditions for the gaming industry. Under the new law, casino operators would pay RUB$250,000 (US$4,000) per gaming table. The companies have been paying RUB$ 50,000 (US$800), whilst the tax rate on slot machines would increase from RUB$3,000 (US$50.43) to RUB$15,000 (US$252.15).

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