Online Gambling in Russia
In general terms, you might struggle to wager legally in Russia because online gambling is not a legally supported practice in the country. As such, it can be nerve-wracking for Russian gamblers to have a go and visit the best online casinos in the country, which can cause a lot of added stress that should not be present while having a good time.
However, not all hope is lost if you fancy visiting a quality online casino and playing in the best online casinos in the world if you live in Russia.
Even though there are some sites that have been blacklisted by the Russian government, you can still get down to work and visit them if you know your way around the internet (using VPNs, for example, is a good way to avoid blocks).
In any case, there are also land-based casinos that you can visit and play in Russia, as some regions of the country do allow people to gamble freely as long as people either reside in them or visit them (casinos located in these regions don’t have any form of online gambling).
Gambling in the USSR
Gambling in Russia has had a tough history ever since it started back in the 20th century. Gambling was legal in the country in the pre-Soviet era, which allowed many people in Russia to practice more archaic gambling activities as freely as they wanted before the controls started. However, the creation of the Soviet Union changed the way gambling was perceived in the country.
The communist takeover of the country and the fall of the Russian Empire were actually the precursors to today’s bans in online gambling, as it signified the beginning of controls that started in the country and that made gambling an enemy of the state.
Gambling in Russia was banned on the beginning of the 1920s, and it stayed that way for most of the 20th century until a couple of years before the fall of the Soviet Union. In a way, gambling in Russia was legalized just in time for the creation of online gambling, which also helped the practice come to prominence and oversee a boom of success that lasted until the early 2000s.
Changes in the late 80s
Just when things were starting to go south for the Soviet Union and the fall of communism was started to become a very real possibility, there were a lot of changes within Russia that made things related to capitalism freer, one of which was the creation of gambling regulations that enabled Russians to gamble their money in various entities across the country.
Online gambling started in 1994, but by 1988, Russians were already allowed to gamble their money. The main problem with the legalization of gambling in Russia was the fact that there were almost no controls for the practice in the country, which allowed things to get a bit too far out of control, and which also led to the current state of gambling regulations in the country.
So, in a way, the changes that Russia made to gambling in the late 80s are partly to blame for the current controls that were imposed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Many Russians did enjoy the golden era of online gambling in the country, though, and people were able to wager their cash as they wanted to for many years before the current controls started.
Poker and Online Gambling
Famous online gambling apps, such as PokerStars, for example, have also been banned in recent years by the country’s government. The only form of gambling that is meant to be done in Russia is on land-based casinos that are approved by the government and that operate in certain areas and regions within the country. Technically, Russians aren’t allowed to visit any online casino or play Poker on any form.
There is an exception, though. If you’re a Russian player and you happen to have registered on any poker game before the ban was imposed, you’re still legally allowed to play the game even though new players are not supposed to register anymore.
The restrictions do make it difficult for players to enjoy a good evening of online gambling from their homes, but those who are lucky enough to create an account before the ban can still enjoy online poker legally in Russia.
Can You Gamble Online in Russia Legally?
Let’s get one thing out of the way – there’s no way for you to gamble legally online in Russia, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get in trouble for doing so. The Russian government is mainly prosecuting and trying to remove online casinos from operating in Russia itself, and those who allow Russian players to join their ranks are made to be banned from the ISP’s of the country.
However, it’s not forbidden for you to make transactions between your bank and foreign banks, even if they belong to online casinos. As such, it’s possible for you to make payments and withdrawals freely if you like. We don’t encourage this, as you’d technically be breaking the law, but this is the way many people wager online in Russia even in 2023.
Online Casinos Russia
There are not many real money casinos that operate legally in Russia, although some land-based casinos in the country have tried, unsuccessfully, to get licenses from the government to operate online as well. The reason why online casinos are not allowed in Russia is that gambling in the country seems to be regionalized, and not all citizens are allowed to wager their money as they please.
However, online casinos are not entirely inaccessible from Russia even when none of them operate within the country. You can find world-class bitcoin casinos, as well as free spin bonuses that can be claimed with bitcoins, if you know where to look for them.
There’s a blacklist that was created by the government which makes every ISP in the country prohibit access to certain online casinos on the internet, but these blocks can be easily bypassed by using VPNs or masking your IP in any shape or form.
This makes online gamblers in Russia available to spend their money in some of the world’s best online casinos, even when the government tells them that it’s illegal to do so. This has allowed online gambling to gain a lot of prominence in the country, and this is also why so many Russians are able to enjoy the world’s best slots, table games, and casino bonuses even when not residing in the country.
You won’t find any online casino with headquarters located in Russia, but you’ll come across some fantastic websites that allow Russian gamblers to spend their money on the casino without having to leave the country. The one thing that you should keep in mind as a Russian gambler is that you won’t be able to claim most of the best casino promotions on the internet.
Many online casinos do have a rule in place that makes it so people can’t use VPNs or proxies when claiming any type of casino promotion, which makes it much more difficult for people to scam the site by creating multiple accounts and claiming the same bonus various times. However, this also plays a negative role against Russian gamblers, as using VPNs is the only way for them to gamble money online.
You can, however, join an online casino and play their games, even if you live in Russia, with one of these practical VPNs. If you’re going to use a VPN to gamble abroad, please refrain from using any free services that you’ll find on the internet. Paid VPNs give you much more secure browsing features and keep your info better protected than free ones.
You may also use certain secure VPNs to claim the best casino bonuses even if you're living in Russia!
There are certain regions of Russia where you’ll be able to play in land-based casinos. Altay, Kaliningrad, Primorie, Krasnodar, and Rostov are the main regions of Russia where you’ll be able to find casinos operating legally within the country’s borders.
These regions not only allow Russians to gamble on land-based casinos, they’re also strategically set up so foreigners that visit the country can spend their money on the casinos and strengthen the country’s economy. You can still enjoy the best casinos in Russia by visiting these regions, so those looking to avoid getting in trouble in any shape or form might want to pay a visit to one of these places.
Prosecution of Russian Gamblers by the Government
The fact that people are not prosecuted when gambling online does make it easier for Russians to bypass government restrictions. The main crackdown that the Russian government has made falls upon online casinos themselves, and the main target of the law has been in illegalizing online gambling and preventing people from visiting these websites with the creation of the Roskomnadzor.
However, people who gamble online in Russia are not usually prone to getting in trouble. The government rarely cracks down on people who wager their money online, and the fact that bank transfers between gamblers and online casinos are allowed makes it easier for people to do whatever they want with their money, without fearing for the integrity of their cash or their freedom.
Keep in mind that you can indeed get in trouble, but the chances of that happening when gambling online in Russia are slim to none. Just don’t go about your day screaming loudly that you’re an online gambler and you should not get in any sort of trouble.
Playing on Sites Blacklisted by the Roskomnadzor
The Roskomnadzor is an entity that has blacklisted many online casinos, preventing Russians from accessing them and spending cash on them. However, most of the best online casinos in Russia are listed in the blacklist, which means that there are ways in which you can access these casinos without your ISP knowing about it.
The simplest way of doing so is by choosing any of the world’s best VPN services, which hide your IP and don’t make it easy for the government to know what you’re doing. This is the main reason as to why people don’t usually get in trouble for gambling online, and given that banks allow transfers to happen internationally, you’re almost impossible to detect when gambling in online casinos.
Best Online Casinos in Russia
By using VPNs, you’ll be able to access some of the world’s best online casinos without having to leave Russia – or even the comfort of your home’s favorite chair. These are three of the best online casinos that you can play and visit from Russia!
The Jackpot City casino review that we’ve written at this site ranks this casino as one of the best progressive slot casinos that you’ll come across on the internet. The site is a slot specialist that hosts the best slot games created by some of the world’s top casino providers.
Available since 1998, 888 Casino is one of the world’s most respected online casinos. They offer a selection of games and a mobile app that make this website much more complete than some of its closest competitors. They have some fantastic bonuses that you might not be able to claim in Russia, but their game selection is big enough to keep you entertained for the better part of a year.