October 7, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — Months after the Russian government implemented a huge, nationwide ban on casinos and gambling (with only a few exceptions allowed in remote, hard-to-reach areas), the number of Internet cafes has reportedly tripled in the region.
And no wonder: The casino and gambling industry in Russia “had a turnover of $3.6 billion last year and employed about 400,000 people,” according to CNBC. So, even though the government is nominally including Internet gambling in its ban, it’s finding that difficult as all those Russians used to enjoying a bit of gambling are figuring out alternative ways to do so. And that means the more resourceful Russians throughout the nation are switching their gambling operations online.
Will the government spend even more time and money cracking down on the Internet operations, or will it be a clue to the government that its people’s gambling activities should not be restricted? Only time will tell, but it’s hard to be positive given the Russian government’s willingness to shut out all that casino action — and close off a path to all the tax revenue it could bring in.