Sunday May 8,2016 : RUSSIA TO TIGHTEN ANTI-ONLINE GAMBLING MEASURES
 
Consultative phase starts on new blocking initiative.
 
Whilst the Russian government is reportedly taking a softer line on sports betting, it apparently remains strongly opposed to online casino activity, this week adding a slew of top European internet gambling industry names to its growing blacklist of banned and blocked sites.
 
The federal government has also started the consultative phase ending on May 16 for new measures designed to beef up the existing laws…particularly in regard to the use of mirror sites to evade state ISP blocking.
 
Apparently some blocked operators have been advising Russian punters on how to work around ISP blocking measures through the use of mirror sites, and the federal Ministry of Communications is doing something about it, demanding that ISPs also block mirrors, and search engines remove references to operators caught contravening the law.
 
The plan is to implement the amendments before the end of 2016.
 
Aside from the reputational risks associated with being blacklisted by a major government, the renewed drive against online gambling carries other dangers for reputable companies committed to doing business in regulated environments.
 
In a world where regulatory issues – and applications for licensing – are increasingly interlinked, a record of wilfully defying and trying to actively circumvent legitimate government legalization could have adverse implications for applicants who subsequently seek licensing in other jurisdictions.
 
New Jersey is one example, where the regulator has publicly announced that activity in the black and grey markets could influence the award of licensing, and it's not too far a stretch of the imagination to envisage how opponents of online gambling could use evidence of bad behaviour by a company to demand the use of tough "bad actor" clauses in legalization initiatives – in California for instance.