Russia is introducing a legislation that would oblige banks and payment processors to block transactions with international online gambling companies.
The Ministry of Finance prepared a new bill that aims to stop the flow of funds between Russian punters and international online gambling operators. The changes are set to be discussed by the government on Thursday.
If the bill gets approved, the Federal Task Service will create a blacklist of Russian and international companies and individuals that are involved in illegal online gaming activities. The list will be then sent to financial institutions in the country, which will be responsible for blocking future transactions.
The bill was originally proposed in 2015, but encountered heavy resistance from certain government ministries, as well as some major Russian financial institutions.
Russia agreed to have a limited number of domestic sports betting operators launching online betting sites but internationally licensed companies remain unwelcome. Further, all sites licensed in Russia are obliged to process payments through centralised hubs known as TSUPIS. In this way the government can easily monitor online gambling activity.
It is estimated that Russian players spend approximately $3 billion every year on foreign online gaming websites.