Based in Russia and want to play casino games with crypto? Check out our RU crypto gambling guide and claim huge welcome bonuses.
Filter Casinos By
Gambling is legal in Russia, and it’s available both online and with land-based casinos. Before 2009, gambling wasn’t regulated, and there were hundreds of online and terrestrial casinos available. However, new legislation was enforced in 2009 to regulate the casino market.
With this new legislation, the number of casinos available has been reduced to be more controlled by the government and allows for taxation on winnings and casino operations. It’s also a solution to circumvent issues with a previously wild and unregulated market. Now, land-based gambling is limited to four areas throughout the country:
As for online casinos, the government banned 130,000 sites in 2018, and more sites have been blocked since. However, there are still online casinos legally available and operating with a Russian licence. Most of these casinos are local companies, with the government systematically banning international casinos.
Lotteries and sports betting are still legal in the entire country. These restrictions mainly apply to operators offering casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette or poker. Russian players who engage with unlicensed casinos can be fined. It’s also interesting to note that these online casino restrictions don’t apply to tourists visiting Russia.
Cryptocurrencies used to be accepted in Russia without any regulation whatsoever. Yet, as of 2021, the Russian government has officially banned the use of cryptocurrencies. The restrictions put in place then have been reinforced in 2022 with new amendments to the law, destined to take into account the workarounds some people found in the original legislation.
This has gone further, as recently, several Russian-owned Binance accounts were closed down by the US government. However, this ban appears to be a temporary measure to give the Russian government the time it needs to come up with proper legislation for this new market. The main issue the government wants to solve is anonymity. Identifying who’s using the blockchain is currently very difficult, almost impossible. The various crypto ledgers are public, but most users access them under pseudonyms. According to the Central Bank of Russia, this ban is also motivated by the alleged threat of financial stability to the country’s economy.
Just like its political history, Russia has a tumultuous relationship with gambling. Before 1928, nobles enjoyed gambling as a pastime in private clubs. It was popular and a sign of wealth. However, when the USSR was formed, gambling became considered a mark of this old bourgeoisie and was banned altogether.
It clashed with the idea of communism and redistributing wealth to the working class. During this period, gambling didn’t exist in any legal form. However, as is the case with any country banning something, people still had card games in a more confidential way.
This prohibition stayed in place until 1991 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, Russia truly began to enter capitalism circa 1999. Then the government opted for a highly liberal policy, allowing legal gambling facilities to open throughout the country.
By the end of the 20th century, the country counted fifty land-based casinos in Moscow and more in other cities. At the time, the market was barely regulated, which gave a lot of leeway to international companies to offer their services online. This trend soon faded when the Russian government decided to make the rules more strict.
Gambling laws in Russia proved to be moving rapidly, and in 2009, the government banned online gambling with IP detection blockings. Moreover, many land-based establishments were closed down. There are now only four areas throughout the nation where people can engage in casino gaming.
However, this legislation was a way for the government to control this economic influx because online casinos still exist in Russia. The main change is that the market is now regulated, and winnings are taxable. This also means Russian online casinos must hold a Russian license to offer their services to Russian players.
One of the most popular games played in Russia is a card game called Durak. This card game is popular in several other eastern European countries. It can be played with two to six players with a French deck. In order to play, cards from two to five must be removed from the deck. After dealing, the player with the lowest trump card attacks first, and the defender is the player to his left. The defender can become the next attacker if he successfully resists the attack.
However, Russian players also enjoy more traditional games like online slots. Online slots are the most popular games on the internet worldwide, so it’s no surprise Russians enjoy them too.
Slots offer varied game mechanics. You can enjoy three-reel games reprising the traditional gameplay of physical machines. It’s also possible to find more evolved slots with progressive jackpots, expanding reels, exploding symbols, or special symbols that help players get more winning combinations.
Russian players are also more than familiar with the games played in land-based casinos, so roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and poker are also popular. Still, the most popular card game behind Durak is poker. There were even attempts to start poker tournaments by the end of the 1990s, but they never met the popularity required to get such organisations off the ground.
One of the main perks of playing at an online casino is enjoying generous bonuses to play more with the same amount. In this regard, online casinos in Russia will offer welcome bonuses that feature a deposit bonus and free spins. The deposit bonuses will add more money to a deposit to play most of the casino games. The free spins allow Russian players to enjoy their favourite online slots.
Due to the popularity of card games in Russia, it goes without saying that deposit bonuses and cashback bonuses have a good reputation. Cashbacks will offer part of a player’s losses in a week or a month to help them get back in the saddle.