4/19/2012 : ARE THE RUSSIANS RELENTING?
 
Rumours that politicians are thinking gain on Moscow's draconian drive against gambling
 
Russian gamblers and operators are hoping that rumours about a review of the country's tough gambling restrictions are true, reports the latest Alsart newsletter.
 
In a sweeping edict several years ago, Russian leader Vladimir Putin banned all gambling in major Russian cities, instead consigning it to four remote regions of the vast country.
 
Understandably, this grand plan did little for the success of the industry, but encouraged a rise in illegal activity and official corruption.
 
Now it appears that there may be a reprieve, with rumours that politicians behind closed doors in the Duma are actively discussing a revision of the decree that may permit strictly regulated land gambling in the bigger cities.
 
Alsart speculates that the four new gambling zones could service St. Petersburg, Sochi, Krasnodar and Moscow, but Russian officialdom is playing its cards close to its chest and has made no comment.