Posts Tagged ‘Russia online poker’

Russian Online Poker Players could be Fined

Friday, May 13th, 2016

tatarstan-online-pokerJust recently, we discussed the widespread popularity of online poker in Russia. In fact, polls show that at least 16 percent of Russians are currently playing online poker. However, this might soon end thanks to budding legislation that would fine certain Russians who play the game.

The bill comes out of the Tatarstan region (pop. 3.8 million), which features a good number of poker players. Rafil Nugumanov, a Tatarstan State Council member who’s sponsoring the legislation, believes that his region has a gambling problem coupled with too many operators.

So his bill calls for anybody caught playing internet poker in 2017 and beyond to pay a fine worth 10k or more Rubles ($150 and up).

More fines would be placed on the families of underage gamblers (5,000 Ruples and up) in addition to landlords who allow online poker on their properties (150,000 Ruples).

One important thing to stress is that the legislation is only being discussed right now. However, if passed, it would definitely hurt the game in Tatarstan. It could even encourage more Russian states to pass anti-online poker bills.

Internet poker is already supposed to be illegal in Russia, but this hasn’t stopped anybody from playing. The current model gives the government the ability to block poker sites. However, these sites can also contest the decision, which weakens the supposed ban.

Considering the game’s illegality, some players have hoped that the government would just regulate online poker. And there has been a fair amount of talk in the Kremlin about doing so. But at this point, none of these talks have resulted in anything concrete.

2016 saw a law proposed that would make poker a skill game in Russia. But again, this legislation has just been sitting in government channels and not moving anywhere.

Assuming Tatarstan does pass their bill, it would hurt the chances of legalizing online poker or at least classifying it as a skill game.

Poker killing Chess Popularity in Russia

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

russia-chess-pokerOne thing that Russia has become really well known for is producing chess champions. However, in recent years, chess seems to be taking a backseat to poker.

Even up until the early 2000s, parks were popular gathering places for chess buffs who wanted to test their skills against each other. But the allure of testing one’s mind against an opponent no longer seems to be as powerful as the potential to win a huge fortune through poker.

As Bloomberg reports, a 2013 poll showed that 16 percent of Russians (approx. 20 million) play online poker, which is up from 10 percent in 2011. Assuming a new poll were to be released this year, we’d likely see an even higher figure.

Given all the Russians who are playing online poker these days, the government is pondering a move to regulate the game and earn tax revenue from it.

russia-online-poker“That so much economic activity is happening on foreign websites represents a loss to Russia in terms of potential tax revenue,” writes Bloomberg.

“The opportunity cost seems to have dawned on Russian officials as the state slides into financial distress, caused by a mixture of falling oil prices and Western retaliation against its foreign military interventions. Now the government is considering whether to build a legal, regulated online gaming system to boost the tax revenues.”

Currently, online poker is supposed to be illegal in Russia, but these laws haven’t kept anybody from playing. Chess, once the country’s most-popular mind sport, also isn’t keeping people away from the cyber sport. Even Russian chess-masters like Dmitry Andreikin and Almira Skripchenko have gravitated to poker and the potential winnings it can offer.

That said, expect more Russians to continue picking up poker while chess games become less and less populated.