Russian internet regulator widens online gambling restrictions

News on 11 Jul 2016

Roskomnadzor, the Russian internet regulator, has widened its censorship of illegal online gambling websites to embrace news and sports betting data-providing enterprises as well. It is not clear if affiliate webmasters will also be targeted, but given their promotional nature this is likely.

Local media reports are that sites such as Championat, Bookmakers’ Rating and others could be impacted by the blocks, which have seen Roskomnadzor order the ISP blocking of over 800 online gambling websites in a major crackdown that began in June.

The editor-in-chief of Bookmakers’ Rating, Alexei Tkachuk, said in a media interview last week that the moves are possibly linked to the federal government’s plans to introduce a ten percent tax on proceeds of bookmakers and totes.

The country has already licensed two bookmaking companies for online activity (see previous reports) and government intervention through banning competition would help the licensed companies who pay tax.

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