Until 1980, gambling was banned in Russia. In 1988, slot machines were legalized first. At the beginning of the 90s, the terrestrial casinos became legal. In 2002, there were more than 50 terrestrial casinos in Moscow. In 2006, the government banned online casinos to “protect younger generations”. In 2009, Vladimir Putin banned all casinos except for four geographical regions. This ban still valid today. Currently, terrestrial casinos in Russia are available only in the following regions: Altai Krai, Primorsky Krai, Krasnodar Krai, and Kaliningrad Oblast.
The online casino law has become even more stringent. With a law passed in 2012, internet service providers were obliged to ban access to gambling sites. In the same year, a list named “Roskomnadzor” was published. This list included gambling sites that the Russian government considered illegal. The sites in this list stopped serving Russian players because they were afraid of the sanctions that could be applied. Today, gambling bans are still ongoing, and there are no online casinos based in Russia. However, it is still possible to find world casinos accepting Russian players. Nonetheless, since these sites mostly do not provide ruble support, there are some financial problems due to currency exchange rates. In this gambling guide, you will find a list of gambling sites that accept Russian players and detailed information about Russian online gambling.
Or, “what happens if I get caught while gambling in Russia”. Although prohibited, illegal casinos are quite common in Russia. They usually serve in the basement floors of the buildings. These places resemble the “sin cities” described in Charles Dickens novels: They are dark, filled with cigarette smoke, and shady-looking people. If you get caught gambling in such a place, your winnings are being confiscated. Apart from that, the players are not sanctioned. However, illegal casino owners are fined 1 million rubles and 3 to 5 years in prison. These sanctions also apply to online casinos too.
In regions where gambling is legal, very heavy taxes are being applied. As an example, you pay 13% tax on the winnings you get from slot machines. For tourists’ earnings, 30% tax is applied.
The lottery is legal in Russia and even regulated by the government. Because lottery agencies do not pay taxes, you can see a place where tickets are sold almost everywhere in Russia.
Russian Casino Games
Contrary to popular belief, Russian players do not have a special casino game. Because no provider develops games for certain nations. Russian players are playing the same games as the rest of the world. For the same reason, the casino game rules do not change either. However, it is possible to say that Russians have a special interest in slot machines. As a matter of fact, Twitch broadcasts under the “Casino” category are usually made by Russian players and they all broadcast slots videos. In addition, it is possible to say that poker is also very popular. Poker has been played in Russia since the tsarist period, and for this reason, it is popular with the public. In short, Russian players prefer mostly slot machines and poker.
Best Russia Casinos Online
As mentioned above, it is possible to find online casinos that still accept Russian actors. However, due to the reasons we will explain below, the cost of playing in these casinos is higher (due to currency exchange). Below you can see the newest casinos that accept Russian players:
|Name||Bonus & Promotion|
|Super Lenny||100%, up to 350 USD|
|BetVictor||100%, up to 175 EUR|
|GUTS||100%, up to 40 EUR|
|GALA||400%, up to 400 EUR|
|DUNDER||200%, up to 600 USD|
Once you are a member, you can take advantage of the slots bonus and play games in all categories, such as mobile slots, without any restrictions. Casino software used in these sites do not differ according to player nations; bonuses, games, and features are same for everyone. However, we advise you to be careful: Due to legal sanctions, you must use alternative methods for depositing and withdrawing money. You can find more detailed information on these subjects below.
Deposit and Withdrawal Methods for Russian Players
The prohibition of gambling is causing many difficulties for the classic payment methods. Bank transfers are the most problematic ones. At some online casinos, you can still see deposits accepted by bank transfer (Alfa Bank preferred), but you cannot use a local bank to withdraw money. If it appears that the transfer is coming from a gambling site, the state will confiscate it. For the same reason, most banks do not accept deposits to gambling sites. For these reasons, if you are a Russian player, forget using the bank transfer method for deposit and withdrawal transactions.
Credit cards have similar problems. Since Visa and MasterCard are forced to use the infrastructure of local banks, they too have problems with transfers to gambling sites. It is possible to deposit with Visa cards, but nearly impossible to withdraw money. MasterCard allows neither deposit nor withdrawals. If you do not transfer money in very large quantities, it will probably not be a problem, but you can be sure that you will have a problem sooner or later.
Electronic wallet services are the most used method for deposit and withdrawal transactions in Russia. But they also have some limitations. PayPal, for example, may be used in Russia but it states that it will not accept transfers to gambling sites. In other words, you cannot use PayPal to transfer money to gambling sites, even though it is a reliable method. Neteller and Skrill are the best options for this reason. These payment solutions, which have already been developed for the needs of the gambling industry, can be used seamlessly in Russia. We even recommend you to order debit cards for both services. With these cards, you can withdraw your winnings from any ATM.
As can be guessed, pre-paid cards can also be used as a reliable payment method too. Paysafe Card, AstroPay, and ECOPayz also serve Russian players. Finally, let’s say that Bitcoin is an appropriate option. As known, Bitcoin can be used anywhere in the world, it is safe and cost-free. To summarize, there are three payment methods that Russian players can use:
- Electronic Wallet Services (Neteller, Skrill)
- Pre-Paid Cards (Paysafe, Astropay, etc.)
- Encrypted Currencies (Bitcoin, altcoin)
The most appropriate of these methods is Bitcoin for the reasons, we will explain below.
Disadvantages of Russian Casinos
We mentioned above that you might experience a financial loss due to the currency exchange rate. This is because most online casinos do not provide RUB support. So even if a site accepts Russian players, it does not allow the use of local currencies. Russian players, therefore, have to play games using the EUR and USD currencies. Even if you deposit money in rubles, they will be converted to EUR and USD. During this conversion process, you need to pay commissions in large amounts due to exchange rate differences. As a result, the cost of gambling is increasing.
Using Bitcoin, you can get rid of this disadvantage. BTC is not affected by currency and exchange transactions because it has the same value all over the world. Since it is an anonymous and inexpensive payment method, you do not need to pay any commissions too. For this reason, we recommend that you use Bitcoin to deposit and withdraw money to and from gambling sites.
Another disadvantage of Russian casinos is that they do not offer localized content. If you do not speak English, your gambling experience will not be optimal. Because providers do not add Russian interface for their games. So, if you are a Russian citizen wanting to play at online casinos, you need to be able to understand English. Same thing applies to live dealer games too: Dealers speak English, and most of them don’t understand Russian.
Where to Find Russian Casinos?
To see the geographic restrictions that gambling sites apply, see the terms & conditions pages. If there is a restriction for Russia, you can see it on this page. If you cannot see it, it means that the site accepts Russian players. Likewise, if a website gives ruble support, it means that they are already accepting the Russians. A large part of UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) and Malta-licensed casinos do not accept players from Russia and Eastern European countries. For this reason, you will have a better chance at Curacao licensed casinos. Lastly, if the casino gives Bitcoin support, you can become a member anywhere in the world.
Of course, you can always follow the featured casinos’ list on our website as usual. When we prepare our reviews, we take into account not only the characteristics of the casinos but also the country restrictions that they apply. Start with the list we shared above and visit our review pages to find more. Wherever you live in the world, you can be sure that we reviewed a casino that suits you.