Russia’s Media & Telecommunications Regulator Receives 38,000+ Online Gambling Complaints

The media and telecommunications regulator in Russia has reported it has received thousands of online gambling complaints. They’ve reported they received over 38,000 complaints, and that was just in the first half of the year.

Compared to the prior year, the figure shows an increase of 235% in complaints about the illegal distribution of digital gaming. This is according to Roskomnadzor, the body of government that regulates the media and telecommunications industry.

In total, 118,00 complaints were submitted to the media watchdog. The complains were related to the illegal distribution of various types of information, not just content related to digital gaming.

Roskomnadzor, which was formed and established in 2008, regulates the framework for how information is distributed under Russian law. As of lately, the regulator has been keeping a close eye on the online gambling industry.

Under Russian law, poker services and casinos that operate online are not allowed to operate in Russia. However, sports-betting is legal but in order for operators to provide their services in the country, they have to apply for licenses. They can do this via local regulators. However, it has been pointed out that international operators tend to be heavily denied licenses.

In 2016 alone, Roskomnadzor blocked over 15,000 gambling domains. This makes the Russian gaming industry one of the most strictly regulated ones in the world. The organization has been given the authority to blacklist anyone that has violated local regulations.

Over the last few years, the regulator has been adding more domains to its blacklist. In just a single week, it placed over 1,000 domains on the list. All of the domains were gambling-related.

Roskomnadzor processed the complaints before sending over links to experts. They sent over 50,000 links to the experts, who decide whether or not the links should be placed on a blacklist.

The law is aimed at protecting kids from information that may be harmful to their development and health. The law has been in effect since 2012, and it states that a register of domain names should be maintained so that authorities can identify websites that publish prohibited information.

Besides the 38,000+ complaints about online gambling, others included over 35,000 complaints related to information about drugs and drug addiction and over 19,000 complaints on information on methods of suicide or calls for committing it.