Written On 4/7/11 By Frank Polliern :
Venue choices for Russian gamblers, already restricted to four remote regions of the country in draconian gambling bans imposed some time ago, have shrunk further with the news that prime minister Vladimir Putin signed an instruction to close the Azov City gambling zone in the country’s Rostov region this week.
Putin signed legalization into law five years ago while serving as President, exiling all forms of gambling to four isolated areas; Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, the Primorsky region on the Pacific coast, the mountainous Altai territory in Siberia and an area covering portions of the southern states of Krasnodar and Rostov – between Azov City in the north and Sochi in the south.
The Itar-Tass news agency reported that current President Dmitry Medvedev signed an amendment into law in November 2010 that took Azov City and its surrounding area out of the permitted zone, and Putin's signature confirms this ruling.
The new decree also empowers the authorities to close other zones where the activity is currently permitted before the previously stipulated ten-year operational window.
The ban on gambling in Russia appears to have driven the industry underground, with an increasing need for police actions against both illegal operators and corrupt officials.