The media reports have highlighted that Russia is revising its Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The nation is planning to reconsider the law that restricted the financial institutions that enabled online transactions. As per the reports, the Finance Ministry of Russia has revealed a law that focus on implementing the regulations on banks. This will be done with a motive of curbing illegal gambling activities and the revenues coming out from such activities. The government of the state has also highlighted that Russians are pending almost around $3 billion per year on online casinos in playing their favorite games like Jack Hammer slot.
After the law is in motion, the state is set to prepare a blacklist with the names of all those banking groups that are still into online transactions. It will focus on various international casino websites that are alluring Russian citizens through online transfers. It is known that the new law has been appealed by Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.
Russia’s Take on UIGEA
It has been seen that the President and the Russian government both have always opposed the forms of gambling relaxing only some laws. The nation has restricted gambling to four zones namely Altai in Siberia, Azov City in the Krasnodar region, a Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea coast and Primorye near the Pacific port of Vladivostok; Kaliningrad. It means that a new casino opens in any of these zones only like Sochi casino and Resort that opened in Krasnodar. Further, it is known that the humid subtropical climate of Sochi made it the hottest city hosting the winter Olympics. A little relief was provided by the snow covered terrain nearby but the fact is that the years 2014 became the most expensive Olympics.
Putin seems to be in favor of land-based casinos and that is why, he seems to oppose the online gambling. Yes, the proposal of Finance Ministry is quite similar to UIGEA. Under the new law, Russia would consider it a crime to make online transactions when it comes to internet gambling. Since the year 2006 when UIGEA was signed, hardly any law of it was taken seriously and casinos offended it including Full Tilt poker and PokerStars. Both these casinos did not restrict their US players to access the interactive rooms. It was stopped only when the US Department of Justice seized their domains in the year 2011. The very day was called as ‘Black Friday’, as it was the biggest shock for the online casino world.
In addition to this, the entire poker companies were held accused of being engaged in money laundering just to make online transactions possible for the players. It is further known that UIGEA does not have an honored position in the USA, as it offers fantasy sports exemption. The issue has been with the legal basis for the argument for DraftKings and FanDuel, the biggest and the most popular daily fantasy companies. When it comes to the anti-online gambling measure of Russia, it is more likely to come up with a better alternative for payment transactions ensuring that no fraud activities take place.
The Bottom Line
Without a doubt, Russia has taken a bold step by restricting online casinos to continue online transactions. However, it is still to be witnessed that whether these casinos will take it seriously or not. Once the Russia UIGEA has become a law, banks and casinos are sure to be more careful while approving any activity related to internet banking. Yes, the new law will be in favor of the nation and will bring in only positive results.