Govt to fine citizens on illegal gaming sites

Russian legislators have proposed a bill that would impose fines on citizens accessing illegal online gambling sites, local media reports.

The bill also includes stipulation that would force legal Russian gambling sites to remove any ties to international partners.

Anyone caught gambling online on an unauthorized site is to face a fine between RUB10,000 to 20,000 (US$150-300).

Tatarstan State Council representative Rafil Nugumanov, who is one of the bill’s sponsors, said the bill is the only way to address illegal online gambling.

Yevgeny Fyodorov, a deputy for United Russia, said international gambling sites posed a threat to Russian security, and laws needed to be amended to “ban the activities of bookmakers, with foreign founders, in the territory of the Russian federation.”

Fyodorov expressed concern that Russian based bookmakers had a business structure that included affiliates based in other countries, some of which had placed economic sanctions against Russia after 2014’s invasion of Ukraine.

The bill represents yet another tightening of laws concerning online gambling in Russia.

Last month, Russia’s Ministry of Finance said it was planning to prepare a bill to regulate ‘grey’ market gambling.

The Russian government also recently introduced a federal bill which will include amendments of the Tax Code that relate to online bets and wins.