Gambling was completely illegal during the Soviet Union. But in 1988, the government lifted the ban and established the first gambling legislation. This paved the way for slot machines in Moscow. All types of betting became legal in Russia after the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.
However, in 2006, the Russian government saw the need to control the gambling industry. A decree banning all forms of online betting was issued. It turned out to be a heavy blow on Russian sportsbooks, given that Russian punters were some of the most active customers in the online sports betting scene.
In 2009, another restriction was imposed on offline gambling establishments. Betting could only be operated by betting companies accredited by the government.
In addition, sports betting was only permitted in Krasnodar Krai, Primorsky Krai, Altai Krai, and Kaliningrad Oblast. Gambling was further regulated in 2012 by the Supreme Court of Russia. Local internet providers were ordered to shut down online betting platforms designed for Russians.
The Roskomnadzor regulatory body was mandated to track down illegitimate internet betting. All illegal gambling websites were to be listed and blocked so that Russian punters would not access them.
Nevertheless, this command was against the legal customs of Russian internet providers; hence they protested heavily. Notwithstanding, the government remained assertive and threatened to nullify the licenses of ISPs that wanted to reject the order.