Russia’s central bank is taking new measures to crack down on internet casinos operating the country, restricting access for customers to use several payment processors.
The central bank has closed off cross-border transactions for services like Qiwi and Yoo Money, while processors like Fintekh and Onego have had their business licenses canceled in the country. Right now it appears that the only reliable way to deposit and withdraw funds from casinos if you’re Russian is Bitcoin. This is being adopted by more Russia-facing casinos, who’re keen on trying to still be able to take payments from customers.
Without a doubt, Russia is looking to crack down on illegal betting in the market, which is valued about $20 billion annually. The country only has a few areas where gambling is legal, and that doesn’t apply to online betting. While it may make sense for lawmakers to try to legalize and regulate the activity to raise some tax funds, the conservative government in place doesn’t seem likely to make the activity available to the populace.