If a report in Bloomberg is correct then the future of Crimea could be one of tourism and gambling. The reports suggests that in a meeting involving Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, the creation of a new Russian gambling zone was discussed and that the gambling zone would be Crimea. Although reports have yet to be conformed there is talk of plans already being put in place and that costs, along with estimated revenues are being discussed in order for a decision to be made on the subject. Four different ‘gambling zones’ within Russia were opened up in Altai, Krasnodar, Kaliningrad and Vladivostok however after failing to meet initial targets only Krasnodar remains active. They were brought into being after laws were passed in 2009 that prohibited gambling in a general clampdown on gambling, smoking and underage drinking.
Regarding online gambling, just a few weeks ago the major internet service providers in Russia blocked access to large online gaming sites such as PokerStars and Titan Poker with a total of 500 sites blocked. That move has left a big question mark over the future of online gambling in the country, however Stars released a statement saying that they were aware of the issue however players could still login and play, as only the site was blocked. It’s unclear as to whether this move is a one off incident or that Russia is adopting an anti-online gambling stance.