Betting Sites in Russia

Russia is a country of great diversity and history with its huge landscape that covers the Eurasian continent. Besides, it is famous for its cultural multiplicity and the architectural masterpieces; at the same time, It has a long-standing relationship with gambling. The Russian Federation with its 85 federal subjects and a population of about 146 million people has experienced the most significant change in its gambling laws which have an impact on betting sites in Russia and the sports betting landscape.

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The History of Gambling in Russia

The gambling in Russia, a country with the rich history that stretches across the whole Eurasian continent, has undergone many changes during its long existence. At first, all types of gambling were completely prohibited from 1928 until 1987 in the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The end of this prohibition was started with a decree in 1987 by the Council of Ministers, which allowed gambling tourism and created conditions for the development of a big gambling industry.

Milestones in Russian Gambling Regulations:

  • 1987: The legalization of the gambling tourism.
  • August 23, 1989: The first gambling place in Moscow was launched.
  • After 2002: The Federal Sports Agency is the one that can grant gambling licenses to anyone who wishes.
  • December 29, 2006: The implementation of Federal Law No. 244-FZ, a law which was the starting point for current gambling rules.

These turning points were the reason of shifting from a total ban to a regulated structure, which resulted in the creation of gambling zones as the only areas where casinos and EGM operations are allowed.

Gambling Law and Regulation in Russia – 5 Things to Know

The future prospects of creativity and development in Russia’s market

Comprehensive knowledge of the licensing, taxation and compliance is very important.

Keeping up with the news and being flexible are the most important things in Russian industry.

How the laws and regulations in Russia have been changing with time is what has led to this evolution of laws.

Russian approach to gambling: the relationship between the regulation and growth of business is kept in balance.

Russian Gambling Landscape

Licensing and Regulation:

To begin a gambling business in Russia, it is essential to know the licensing regulations. The Federal Tax Service is the key body in giving out betting licenses while regional authorities are responsible for casino authorizations.

Key Licensing Requirements:

  • The applications have to be sent to the Federal Tax Service.
  • Proving the financial capacity is a must; in case of casinos, free cash assets should be at least 600 million rubles.
  • Premise size regulations differ by the type of gambling house, casino being obliged to have an area of 800 square meters at least.

Designated Gambling Zones:

The creation of the gambling zones like Crimea, Sochi or Primorye is a proof that the government’s method to confine and control gambling activities within some limits.

The Development of Betting Sites in Russia

The sports betting scene in Russia is a combination of both the regulation and the opportunities. The difference between the general gambling restrictions and the permissions for sports betting shows how Russian legislators have made a subtle distinction.

Recent Legislative Developments:

  • December 2020: The issuance of new laws that oblige the betting companies to give 1. They give 5% of their quarterly turnover to Russian sports federations.
  • Unified Regulator for Gambling: A new authority which will be in charge of the sports industry, including also the transfer of payments to sports federations.
  • Unified Centre of Betting Accounting: A main centre for the wagers and payouts control, thus simplifying the betting system even more.

Taxation and Financial Implications

The gambling taxation system in Russia does not impose the value-added tax (VAT) on the services of gambling, but instead it imposes specific taxes on the activities of gambling. Key points include:

  • The gambling winnings are taxed at a rate of 13% for the Russian tax residents.
  • The prizes less than 4,000 Rubles are not taxed.
  • Gambling houses are the tax agents of winnings which surpass 15,000 Rubles and thus guarantee that the taxpayer fulfills his/her duty.

The Road Ahead

The Russian Federation’s attitude towards gambling and sports betting is a combination of regulation and expansion. The laws and regulations have changed from the complete prohibition era to the current structured framework which shows that our country is flexible and strategically plans how to manage these activities.

To those who are dealing with the gambling industry in Russia, it is very important to know all the details of licensing, taxation and regulatory compliance. The future of the Russian betting sites and Russia sports betting is a dynamic field that will continue to be open for new ideas and growth within the existing legal framework.


In a nutshell, as the Russian gambling and sports betting industry is developing further, it will be very important to keep track of the legal and regulatory changes and to revise your business according to these developments. Whether you are a newbie into the betting sphere or an old hand, the Russian market is both among those that have inherited their history and shaped by forward-looking regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Betting Sites in Russia

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