Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Business Poker Tournaments

Russian Internet Service Providers Could Clamp Down On Gambling Websites After Court Ruling

However, Unclear If Poker Sites Would Be Affected In Future


The Russian Supreme Court recently made a ruling that seems to have possible ramifications for the worldwide online poker industry.

According to the Moscow Times, high-ranking interpreters of the law there essentially think an Internet service provider allowing access to a gambling website, or any other content deemed to be illegal, is equivalent, under the law, to running the gambling website itself.

Thus, blocking access to “inappropriate” sites is a precautionary measure to avoid falling into hot water and potentially losing the ability to be in the Internet service business.

There has already been some self-censorship on behalf of web service providers (unrelated to gambling), but according to the Moscow Times, that could increase in the future.

It’s completely unclear if a firm like PokerStars would fall under the scope of this potential trend, as poker is a game of skill and generally not considered gambling when compared to an online slot, for example. There are too many unanswered questions right now.

With that said, there has been some concern among the poker community.

According to reaction from posters on the TwoPlusTwo poker forums, Russia is a global supplier of fish — meaning that a lot of online poker’s lesser-skilled players come from the country, which has a population of about 142 million. There are incredible players from there as well, such as Maxim Lykov and Alex Kostritsyn, just to name a couple.

The scary news for some of the game’s poker pros comes about 20 months after American poker players were kicked off of PokerStars after the company was accused of a slew of federal crimes. PokerStars settled its case in July without admitting any wrongdoing.

Online poker, both for the operator and the serious player, benefits from greater liquidity — in other words, more games running and opponents to chose from. Having the global player pool fragmented even further is disturbing for poker advocates.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus


Most Viewed Articles

1 Phil Ivey Now Down $5.1 Million Under His 'Polarizing' Online Poker Screen Name
2 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Stuck With $2.5 Million Overlay
3 Study: You're Like A Pigeon When You Play Poker
4 Poker Strategy With Ed Miller: Reverse Bet Sizing Tells
5 Crazy Gambling Stories From August
6 Man Carjacks Vehicle From Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Returns Hours Later To Carjack Another And Gets Caught: Police
7 Poker Hand of the Week: 8/27/14
8 Texas Station Closes North Las Vegas Poker Room
9 Gaming Law Expert: Online Poker In California Has 'Very Good Chance' Next Year
10 2014 CarbonPoker Card Player Player of the Year Update -- Dan Smith and Jason Mercier Join Top 10