Russia targets illegal activities as gambling revenue falls

    Russia is getting serious about cracking down on illegal gambling, which is having a significant impact on the development of the country’s gambling zones and the amount of tax raised for government coffers. The clampdown, both land-based and online, comes almost a decade after Russia restricted all gambling to four designated zones, which were designed to become Las Vegas-style hubs. However, data shows that they are generating far fewer profits than before and illegal activity is one of the key factors. According to the Federal Tax Service, in 2008, some 5,700 gambling tables and 257,000 slot machines existed in Russia. The first brought RUB5.7 billion and the second RUB27.7 billion roubles to the state budget. Back then, there were just four totes, which paid some RUB4.3 million in tax and 29 bookmakers, which paid RUB34.2 million. In 2017, the government received just a fraction of the prior revenue – just...

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