Nearly 30,000 illegal venues closed due to gambling ban
MOSCOW, April 20 - RAPSI. Nearly 30,000 illegal venues have been closed in Russia since the law banning gambling activities came into force in 2009, the Prosecutor General's Office reported on Friday.
The federal law prohibiting gambling in Russia came into force on July 1, 2009. All gambling establishments were either to be closed or moved to special gambling zones. However, the law enforcement agencies continue to combat illegal casinos across the country. Many gambling establishments continue to operate under the guise of Internet clubs and lotteries.
Prosecutor's offices have closed over 28,000 gambling houses and 414 underground casinos. The police confiscated over 450,000 gambling machines and other equipment, the Prosecutor Generals Office reported.
As a result of the anti-gambling campaign, the Prosecutor General's Office has confiscated over 53.4 million rubles ($1.8 million) in illegal proceeds, collected more than 132.5 million rubles ($4.5 million) in fines and opened over 1,200 criminal cases.
One of the most high-profile gambling scandals occurred just outside Moscow six months ago when an illegal casino ring was uncovered in 15 towns across the region. The scandal provoked a public uproar. Businessman Ivan Nazarov allegedly operated the casinos. According to law enforcement authorities, several high-ranking officials of prosecutor's offices and the Interior Ministry were involved in the casino operations, which generated $5 million to $10 million in revenue monthly.