RUSSIA

Russian banks face problems with gambling transactions

Banks faced problems with blocking payments related to online casinos – they cannot check the companies owning the gambling domains. Thus Russian banks asked the government to provide access to the Roskomnadzor’s blacklist register for verification.

Banks cannot automatically check customer payments for being related to illegal online casinos and are forced to do it manually. According to the amendments adopted into the recent law, banks cannot accept or process payments from companies if their website is on the “black list” of Roskomnadzor. This is a register of domain names of organizations whose activities are prohibited in Russia. In 2019, Roskomnadzor reported that the list included 30,000 casino-related sites.

Banks ask to finalize the law and give them access to an automatic check of the register. Another problem is that banks cannot identify an organization by a domain name, and it is difficult to verify the accuracy of information from a client.

The experts interviewed by the publication believe that automatic access to the registry will not solve the problem – through it it is impossible to find out which legal entity owns the site and whether it has other similar ones. Also, an online casino can change its domain at any time.
In 2020, the Central Bank limited the transfers of Qiwi and UManey to foreign wallets, this could be due to the processing of payments for bookmakers. In 2021, for settlements with online casinos, the Central Bank revoked licenses from several credit institutions: RFI Bank, Russian Financial Society, Onego Bank and others.

Andriey Nabukhotnyi

Former editor-in-chief of Ukrainian specialized magazine catalogue Entertainment Industry. Andriey is E-Play's observer of Eastern European gambling market.

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