Russian Association of Bookmakers fears that in the near future, due to changes in the Ministry of Economic Development, 98% of all existing betting points in Russia are due to be closed.
According to RBC, the reason for possible closure of betting shops is the new rules established by the order of the Ministry of Economic Development No. 44 of February 4, 2019, which must be met before January 1, 2020.
In this document, the Ministry updated the classifier of permitted use of land: it introduced a new type of land use, designated as “gambling operations”. This status allows opening betting shops outside the gambling zones. Beginning from January 1, 2020, all regions must update their land use accordingly. However, most of the regions, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar and Sochi, did not update their land regulations.
Thus, according to the association of bookmakers, the activities of 98% of all existing betting shops will become virtually illegal, if local authorities fail to update land legislation.