You Are Here: Home » Country » Russia

Russia Online Casinos

Russian CasinosAs a country Russia has had an on and off relationship with gambling throughout the course of its history, with regulations dictated by the various political regimes of the time. Despite having a thriving gaming industry less than two decades ago, most forms of gambling – both online and offline – are now banned in the country, with the exception of four designated government zones.

It was as far back as the 17th Century when Tsar Peter the Great commissioned the country’s first national lottery, and Russians traditionally enjoyed gambling as a popular pastime. This all changed in 1928, when under communist rule, all forms of betting were outlawed. Political reform led to a near 20-year golden period between 1988 and 2006, by which time there were 58 casinos, 2,000 gaming rooms, and 70,000 slot machines in Moscow alone.

Prohibition is back in Russia under the current regime, but it may be a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, as millions of Russians were engaged in land-based or internet gambling before-hand, and Russia continues to be ranked in the top five nations in the world for poker play. In fact some of the world's best players hail from the country, including poker phenoms Alexander "joiso "Kostritsyn, and Timofey "Trueteller" Kuznetsov.

It is increasingly difficult to access online casinos in Russia due to blocks on their websites, but not all sites appear on the government's blacklist. The law does stipulate a small fine for individuals found to be accessing ‘unlicensed’ sites, but it has never been enforced; Russian legislation is geared much more towards the operators of foreign-based casinos rather than individuals. There are many excellent Russian casinos online and we've recommended our favourites below:

Best Russian Casino Sites 2017

  • Rank
  • Casino
  • Bonus
  • Play
1
200% UP TO 3000 RUB
2
150% UP TO 10000 RUB
3
100% UP TO 24000 RUB
4
100% UP TO 32000 RUB
5
100% UP TO 15000 RUB

Best Russian Casino Sites 2017

1
Vulkan Casino
200% UP TO 3000 RUB
Play Now
2
Bonanzagame Casino
150% UP TO 10000 RUB
Play Now
3
Argo Casino
100% UP TO 24000 RUB
Play Now
4
Jackpot City Casino
100% UP TO 32000 RUB
Play Now
5
Spin Palace Casino
100% UP TO 15000 RUB
Play Now

Boom and Bust

The boom in the late 1980’s started when slot machines were legalized in certain locations in 1988, and the entire ban was rescinded the following year. There was little regulation in place though, and as a result, the industry grew at an astronomical rate.

Thousands of gambling dens, casinos and bookmakers sprang up all over the country, and a genuine social problem developed in Russia during that time. There was no regulation of advertising, and unscrupulous gaming companies began targeting the younger population. The number of people regularly betting in Moscow alone was estimated to be up to 1.5 million. There were reports of teenagers missing school to play in slot machine parlours, and city psychiatrists were overwhelmed with the number of visitors suffering from addiction.

The fact that Moscow officials were discussing banning slot machine parlours from anywhere within 500 yards of a residential area to protect the younger generation, speaks volumes about how widespread the problem had become.

By 2006, President Vladimir Putin implemented legislation that led to all real money online gaming being outlawed. By 2009 Russia had also banned any land-based operations in favour of four government-sanctioned gambling zones in remote areas, away from most of the population. The four designated zones are located in European Russia, Siberia, and the Far East, with two further zones – Crimea and Sochi – added in 2014. The locations in the Far East in particular are strategically based to attract the lucrative Asian market, and the Russian government has plans to develop resort-style super casinos to compete with the likes of Las Vegas and Macau.

Strict Censorship

Russia is no stranger to internet censorship, and in 2012 the Supreme Court decreed that Internet Service Providers shall be required by law to block access to online betting and casino sites, and failure to comply could result in the removal of their ISP licence.

The government maintains a blacklist of banned websites. When it was made public in later in 2012 it listed over 1,500 sites that ISP’s were required to block. The list includes sites which promote religious hatred, suicide, pornography and so on, but also featured a number of domains belonging to international gaming operators. As a result of this information being released, several companies closed their doors to Russian customers, although other operators continue to support the market.

The blacklist goes further than just blocking gaming providers, and even blocks the domains of websites that simply carry information related to gambling.

Are Online Slots Legal in Russia?

This is the big question, and as is the case across much of Europe, the answer is never black and white. Despite the aggressive censorship, the Russian government has not yet attempted to prevent banks from processing transactions to foreign-based sites. While betting at unlicensed sites may be technically against the law, there appears to be no interest in prosecuting individuals, with all resources ploughed into blocking international operators. Players in the country have access to the majority of software providers, though Novomatic slots and those by Microgaming remain the most popular.

With such a huge poker community, many poker sites admit to still servicing local players. Likewise, with the popularity of slot machines in the country, there are still plenty of online casinos that accept Russian players.

You've Won a Free Spin

 
SPIN