Russia bans iGaming websites

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As the FIFA World Cup approaches, Russia has blocked more than 1800 online gaming sites during the last week.

This is part of the country’s plans to crack down on online sports betting platforms and avoid illegal gaming options from the market. The Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor), acting under a new crackdown framework, is responsible for blocking the websites.

The online gaming industry has been constrained by the use of a new virtual private network (VPN). It is easier for the authorities to block unlicensed iGaming sites and restrict players’ access to international website in the new platform. Online companies are worried over Russia’s crackdown on several internet sectors may affect the free access to websites in general. In particular, VPN services could be completely banned, especially if policies against online domains keep getting approved.

According to Casino Reports, “the regulator blocked 62,734 gambling sites in 2017 – these sites include online casinos, online lotteries, sportsbooks and poker rooms.” And continued: “in addition, there were many websites that did not offer any form of gambling and instead were blacklisted only for providing gambling-related information.”

Furthermore, the negative perspective in the country grows as authorities are allegedly preparing a law to expand the power of Roskomnadzor, which would jeopardise the technology and communications companies’ operations.

Source: European Gaming Industry News

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.