Russia steps up online gaming censorship

The Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor is imposing tougher and wider censorship, which will include sports media portals and its affiliates.

Russia.- Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulator is stepping up online gaming censorship including sports media portals and its affiliates and heighting its IP-restrictions, which targets high traffic affiliate websites.

The regulator has already shut down more than 6,000 gambling and lottery websites including its affiliates since October 2015 because the Russian government deemed they were violating its regulations. From June 8 to 21, at least 118 online casinos and online bookmakers’ websites and over 50 applications have been blocked in Apple’s AppStore and Google Play.

“Since October 2015, the Russian Federal Tax Service (FTS) decided against more than 6 thousand of sites on the Internet that contain information that violates the requirement to ban the activities of the organization and conduct of gambling and lotteries with the use of the Internet and other means of communication,” said Maxim Krasnov of the FTS. “Decisions are made on the basis of entering the Russian Federal Tax Service of citizens and legal entities.”

At the start of 2016, the Duma claimed it would eliminate all unlicensed gambling operators targeting Russian customers. At that point, the Roskomnadzor had already restricted Russian IP access to European betting operators including Triobet, Unibet, 888 and Betway. Russian government officials declared that they would only favor online bookmakers and gambling operators in compliance with its TSUPIS payment processing and money transfer codes to protect Russian customers against criminal and fraudulent activities.

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