July 26, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — It seemed too good to be true — and it was. When Russia enacted a huge, nationwide ban on land-based casinos earlier this month, poker was not included, since it was technically defined as a sport, not a game of chance. That led to lots of speculation about how poker would soon become an even bigger cash cow in the country, since it seemed to be an ideal legal alternative to casino-based betting.
Unfortunately, the Russian government has closed that loophole. Last week, officials at the Kremlin stated that it was an “error” that led to poker being included on the nation’s official list of sports. And, it has been removed.
Poker is now relegated to the four remote regions in the country in which casinos are still allowed. However, not many casinos and poker rooms currently exist in these regions.