UIGEA Inspires New Russian Online Gambling Laws

putinWhile relationships between the United States and Russia may not be all roses and candlelight these days, there is one thing that the two federal governments seem to agree on. The Putin government has looked to US legislation for inspiration when it comes to passing its own anti-online gambling laws.

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Russia’s Ministry of Finance recently introduced legislation that looks remarkably similar the the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed by the US federal government in 2006.

Like the UIGEA, Russia wants to place regulations on local banks to stop them facilitating payments to and from online gambling sites. Russia is seeking to do all it can to curtail what it determines to be illegal online gambling. The government estimates that around $3 billion is spent each year by Russians at casino sites.

President Putin is said to be the man behind the request for the Ministry of Finance to draw up the new legislation.

If the law is introduced, a blacklist will be drawn up and will include the names of all gambling sites that continue to offer their services to Russian gamblers, as well as financial institutions which continue to process online transactions for gambling, despite new legislation. Banks and payment processors will be required by law to block transactions between gamblers within Russia’s borders and international gambling operators.

This is not the first time the Russian government is attempting to pass such a law. Two years ago, a similar bill was introduced but came up against extreme opposition by a number of banks and ministries.

It now remains to be seen whether Putin will be successful in his latest attempts to clamp down on internet gambling, or whether the opposition will be strong enough to refute his efforts once more.

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