Despite a 2009 law banning gambling across Russia, except for four remote areas, illegal casinos have thrived. In Moscow and the surrounding area, police have recently “carried out a set of operations” shutting down 36 illegal casinos and seizing hundreds of gambling machines, according to the Interior Ministry’s press center.
The report said gambling clubs operated as betting houses, restaurants and internet cafés, and illegal poker and other games were operating in several apartments. Police confiscated more than 440 gambling machines, seven poker tables, 26 gambling machines that accepted bills, and more than 1 million rubles in cash, or about $32,700. The operations generated revenues of more than 100 million rubles or about $33 million, according to the report. Police also closed a casino operating in an old mansion in central Moscow.
In the city of Kazan in the Volga region, Russian authorities are investigating an illegal casino that reportedly generated 32 million rubles, or $1.06 million. Officials said Emil Minigulov rented the premises, installed gambling equipment and hired a staff. He has been charged with organizing an illegal gambling business and earning large profits from illegal activities. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for up to six years.