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Russia’s central bank wages war on online gambling payments
Banks and payment operators have been hit with sanctions for allowing transfers to online gaming sites and illegal bookies.
Russia.- The Russian central bank has issued new regulations that have made it more difficult for customers of online casinos to get paid.
Media outlet The Bell has reported that many companies have seen operations paralysed since mid-January, due to a series of measures targeting payments to unlicensed bookmakers and online casinos.
Systems such as Qiwi and Yoo.Money had been temporarily banned from carrying out transactions with foreign countries out of Russia.
Meanwhile, 10 banks and payment operators are reported to have been hit with sanctions. Fintekh and Onego have even had their business licences pulled.
Many platforms can now only accept bets in cryptocurrency. On non-authorised sites such as Admiral777, JoyCasino, and Gaminator, bets can only be made in Bitcoin.
The Bell reported that some online gambling operators have resorted to visiting long-standing players in person to deal in cash.
Gambling regulation in Russia
Russian-speaking operators’ revenues were estimated at US$17bn in 2019.
The country is currently mulling the idea of creating a single gambling regulator for the whole of the Russian Federation.
Last year, new measures and taxes were imposed on betting on overseas sports events.