Putin sets sting to find illegal operators

Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin has conferred the Federal Tax Service power to place bets with casinos, bookmakers and betting shops, as well as to buy lottery tickets to identify organizers of illegal gambling and lotteries.

The bill signed by Putin into law is due to come into force on 6 August.

Every day, three service employees will make an average of three bets, the government said. These employees will be allowed to receive their win, but it will most likely have to be paid into the budget.

Once an offending website or operator is found, the Tax Service will initiate blocking of the websites and add them to a special blacklist reserved for illegal lotteries and gambling operators. 

Russian banks are obliged to block payments to those who end up on these lists.

There are more than 40 offshore companies already on this blacklist.