Poker in Russia? Nyet!

by Lou on July 23, 2009

You won’t be playing poker in Moscow, or most anywhere else in Russia in the near future. The new Russian ban on gambling came into effect this month. Many Russian operators were planning to make themselves over into poker clubs under a Russian law that recognized poker as a sport rather than a game of chance.

Will the Russian government allow this legal loophole to exist? An estimated 400,000 jobs are at stake.
New Russian gambling laws permit casinos to operate only in four remote regions of Russia, each of which is at least 600 miles from Moscow.
Moscow will really feel the pain. They had 524 casinos and gaming halls before the law took effect.

{ 2 comments }

which July 24, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Well, in some ways this parallels China limiting their officials from visiting Macau too often. Regular citizens can go as often as they like, while the officials are rationed in their visits.

It seems emerging economies, where there is little or no middle class is seeing the fallout from gambling issues in a more severe manner than the US historiccally has. And with less emphasis on personal freedom, they are more willing to over react.

Matthew July 28, 2009 at 5:30 am

This really sucks because the Russians were really starting to make head way in the big events like the EPT and the WSOP over the last few years. It was shaping up to be like the Russians Vs the USA like how Chess was in Bobby Fishers Day.

Online poker portals will start losing players like when US did similar a few years ago.

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