Russians have always held a passion for gambling, even though gambling itself has been banned throughout most of the country’s history. Today, there are plenty of legal land casinos on offer. But in the digital age, everyone prefers the convenience of online casinos. As these are illegal on Russian soils, players instead seek refuge at foreign gambling sites.
These off-shore online casinos treat players with a Russian-language interface and accept the Russian ruble as a currency. They also offer thousands of games of all types and a wide range of generous bonuses. Have a look at our Russian online casino listing to find reviews and approved operators by our expert team of reviewers.
Mobile devices and casinos have become synonymous with one another in the gambling world. The trend of smartphone gaming has sky-rocketed in recent years. This means that any decent casino worth its salt must-have mobile optimisation. Online casinos that accept Russian players have no issues in this regard. Without exception, they are always mobile-friendly and can be accessed via your device’s web browser. Many casinos also offer native Android and iOS apps, for even greater convenience. Is there any difference between mobile and desktop casinos?
Not a whole lot, the major difference is that mobile gamers will have a smaller gaming selection to choose from, but not by a significant margin. This is because many online games were created long before smartphones were a thing. Russia, despite being a massive landmass, has commendable 4G coverage. Meaning, Russian gamers can enjoy smooth online gaming sessions regardless if they’re on the bus, coffee shop or just chilling on the couch. What’s more, it is estimated that over 63% of Russians own a smartphone. This puts the country on 14th place by smartphone penetration on a global scale. The country’s most popular smartphone models are the many iPhone iterations such as 7, 6, 6S and SE. These are followed by the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and the Samsung Galaxy A5. When reviewing the best Russian casinos on the market, we take a good look at mobile optimization. As this is a highly important aspect, a casino loses quite a lot of points in our eyes it doesn’t work on the go. Fortunately, this is rarely the case.
Russia’s gambling history dates back to the country’s famous Russian Revolution (1917). In Soviet times, there was a complete ban on any and all forms of gambling. The USSR SPC, in 1928, famously issued an order to all Soviet Republics to “take measures on the immediate closure of any facilities for card games, roulette, lotto and other kinds of gambling", with no reasoning or explanation whatsoever. Only lotteries were made legal in 1930 and later in 1932 via the USSR SPC resolutions:
“On the Procedure of Issuing Permits for Lottery Arrangement" and “On the Regulation of the Lottery business" Many years later, in 1988, the first legal slot machines were introduced to the country, to be part of hotels under the helm of the State’s Committee of Tourism. In 1989, more good news came, and the complete ban on all forms of gambling was lifted. By 2002, there were over 50 land casinos in Moscow alone Then, in 2009, following the identification of various links between gambling establishments and criminal organizations, president Vladimir Putin decided to reinstate a total ban on casino gambling. This time, there were a few exceptions. Land casinos were allowed to operate only in four specific regions of the country. Undoubtedly, the decision was made in order to increase revenue from tourists in light of the country’s hosting of the Olympic Games and subsequently the football World Cup.
The future of gambling in Russia doesn’t look too bright for the time being. The country isn’t exactly the most progressive in terms of legislation, therefore it could be a while before we see a ruling that makes gambling legal nation-wide.
Russia’s gambling laws are loud and clear in stating that nearly all forms of gambling are illegal, specifically referring to online gambling, and land-based gambling (with some exceptions). Poker is considered a legal grey area, as the law pertains to games of luck, whereas Poker is generally considered a game of skill.
Russian land casinos are only legal in the following regions: Kaliningrad Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Altai Krai, and Krasnodar Krai. Elsewhere, it is completely illegal to operate a gambling establishment of any kind.
The Sochi Casino, Sobranie Casino, Casino Altai Palace, and the Tigre de Cristal Casino Resort are the most popular land-based gambling establishments in the country. Interestingly enough, sports betting is fully regulated and legal across Russian soil, and even foreign countries are allowed to apply for a license. Thus, several global brands have entered the Russian market via their sports betting offerings, such as 888.ru.
Following the Russian Supreme Court ruling of 2012 that completely disallowed online gambling, a special government body was formed called the Roskomnadzor. This body’s task is to track down and blacklist all illegal online gambling sites, including International online casinos and bookmakers.
Russian ISPs are also forced to IP block these blacklisted sites, which they previously refused to do so, but now they risk license removal and heavy monetary fines if they disobey the Roskomnadzor. Despite this, millions of Russians gamble at foreign online casinos and sports betting sites by hiding their IP via VPN or straight up using their own IP addresses, at the risk of government prosecution. In fact, it is estimated that over 70% of all gambling wagers placed by Russians are illegal. The Russian government is not vehement in prosecuting individuals who place online wagers, as they prioritize going after the operators who offer these services. Therefore, it is difficult for you to face legal action for engaging in online gambling via foreign websites, but cases of Russian players being prosecuted for playing at online casinos are extremely rare.
Russian players are drawn to many forms of gambling, including casino and sports betting. As the majority of Russians prefer to place online wagers at foreign gambling sites, they enjoy a wide variety of casino games.
Of course, Russians are passionate sports fans as well. Therefore, sports betting is huge in the country. Football betting, in particular, has a special place in bettor’s hearts but also betting on various water sports, basketball, tennis, and so forth.
Our review process of Russian online casinos is extremely thorough. As the number of these gambling sites is nigh limitless, we must be incredibly selective to offer you only the best of the best. This is why our team of experts has a strict eye for detail. We inspect casinos from head to toe, in every aspect of their service. This way, you will know exactly what you’re dealing with and the type of service you can expect. Read below to get more details in our review process.
The first thing we look at when reviewing an online casino is the security aspect. This means licensing, game fairness and player security. All of these go hand in hand. Typically, the best way to identify a casino’s reliability is licensing. Fortunately, casinos that accept Russian players are licensed by industry-leading regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, Cyprus eGaming Authority, Curacao and Gibraltar. These off-shore licenses allow operators to serve a wide player base. What’s more, they impose strict regulations on operators that go towards player security, fair play, and game fairness. As such, you can rest assured that you will be playing at trusted operators with an excellent track record of satisfied customers.
Operators know that there are millions of Russian players who don’t have many gambling options in their country. To tap into this huge potential revenue stream, they go above & beyond when it comes to accommodating players from the country. This is why a great number of online casinos are available in Russian. However, plenty of English-language online casinos also accept Russians.
Customer support is the backbone of every smooth-running online casino. Without it, everything falls apart. When we review casinos, we look at the availability of live chat (quality of support, working hours, response times), telephone support (toll-free number? Working hours) and e-mail (bare minimum expected from every casino). The average Russian casino offers 24/7 customer support via live chat, which is more than enough to ensure you have quality gaming sessions with minimal interruptions.
The gaming selection sits at the heart of every online casino. When all else is considered, the gaming options remain the most important criteria in judging the value of an online casino. As Russians have to resort to foreign gaming sites for their online gambling needs, the choices in games are virtually limitless. Most commonly, these websites are targeted at the European and UK player base, meaning they offer the best, up-to-date gaming selections on the market. Through providers in the likes of NetEnt, Yggdrasil, Play N Go, Microgaming, and the likes – you can expect thousands of top-quality games at your disposal.
Enter any land or online casino, and slots will usually be the first thing to catch your attention. They are the most popular casino game and have a huge presence across online casinos that accept Russian players. The average casino will have hundreds of slots alone. Classic 3-reel slots, despite their age, are still preferred by many. Video slots, of course, are largest in number, boasting top quality graphics, creative bonus features, and immense payouts. Break da Bank Again, Starburst, Dead or Alive, Gonzo’s Quest, Immortal Romance – these are but a few standout titles you can enjoy during your gaming sessions.
There are also the millionaire-makers: progressive jackpot slots. These games can literally change your life overnight with their multi-million-pound rewards. Microgaming’s Mega Moolah and NetEnt’s Mega Fortune are particular highlights, boasting 7-digit jackpots on the regular. The best part: Russian online casinos never stagnate. New game releases are added on a regular basis. And as some operators are partnered with 50+ gaming suppliers, you can expect regular refreshments of your slot gaming experience.
Slots may offer the highest entertainment value for the average Russian casino player, but table games still remain a very popular choice for the majority of gamers. Fortunately, you will be spoiled for choice in this area as well. Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps, Poker – the basics are all on offer. But things get really interesting when you start exploring the dozens of game variants based on these classics. Vegas Single Deck Blackjack, Baccarat Squeeze, Multi-Hand Blackjack, TXS Hold’em Poker – these are just a few examples popular across online casinos.
Video Pokers are a staple inclusion in almost every Russian online casino’s library. These games can’t rival regular table games or slot machines in terms of popularity, but they do have a niche of their own. Offering a unique mix between slots and poker, Video Poker titles have plenty of entertainment value and high payout potential. The most common Video Poker variants are Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Aces & Faces and Aces & Eights, but dozens more await.
Often the argument for land casinos over online casinos is the lack of atmosphere in the latter. This is true to an extent, but this is where live casinos come in. Many Russian online casinos are partnered with industry bar-setters when it comes to live gaming, such as Evolution Gaming, NetEnt or Ezugi. These live dealer tables are powered through high definition streams. They are hosted by professional, friendly presenters you can interact with via live chat. Moreover, live dealer tables host a slew of unique betting options. Tables are open 24/7, and dozens of them await your bets. Evolution Gaming’s live casino offers the most interesting table game variants on the market: Blackjack Party, Immersive Roulette, Lightning Roulette, Baccarat Control and Ultimate TXS Hold’em, to name a few.
Not everyone likes slots and games of skill, at least not all the time. This is where casual games come in, prominently featured in almost every Russian casino’s gaming selection. These games come in the form of Scratch Cards, Keno and sometimes Virtual Sports. They have very low betting minimums, and are a great fit for those looking to have fun with a limited budget.
Let’s face it, the first thing every casino gamer wants to know about is the bonus. Online casinos are overflowing with bonuses, and they are one of the greatest boons of Internet gambling. We have good news for you; Russian online casinos are full of bonuses coming in all shapes and sizes. We’ll give you a rundown of each bonus type available to you. But, before you claim any offer, make sure to get a good look at the terms and conditions. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed by large bonus amounts if they are impossible to wager. The bonus terms are always more important!
The welcome bonus is fairly self-explanatory – it is offered to new players who have just joined the casino. Typically available on players’ first, second and third deposits, welcome bonuses offer the best “bang for your buck” out of all casino promotions out there. Therefore, if you’re going to claim a bonus, this is the one for you. Your typical Russian casino will match your first few deposits by 200%, 100% or 50% - up to a predetermined sum (usually €100 - €200). You can effectively double or triple your bankroll and greatly boost your odds of turning a profit.
The Free Spins bonus is becoming more common as time goes on. As slots are the most popular casino game, it’s only natural that operators will try and entice potential players with free spins offers. Usually, free spins are paired with a deposit bonus as part of a welcome offer i.e. 100% up to €200 + 50 Free Spins. This gives great incentive for newcomers to place a deposit, and players in turn can enjoy a boosted bankroll by way of bonus funds and free spins winnings. Online casinos also offer free spins as part of regular promotions, in the form of tournament prizes, as part of loyalty rewards, and so forth.
Everybody loves a good old no deposit bonus. The name speaks for itself – it is free money from the casino without you having to spend a cent. These bonuses are slowly dying out, but they are still available from time to time – you just have to look hard enough to find one. A typical no deposit bonus will give you a set amount of free spins or straight-up cash, such as €10. This bonus comes with high wagering requirements, and a limit on how much you can cash out, which is necessary so the casino doesn’t go bankrupt.
Russians are obliged to pay a 13% flat tax rate on all gambling net winnings. Even though online casinos are illegal in the country, Russian players are still technically obliged to pay taxes on these winnings as well.
Yes. Most online casinos focused on the Russian player base offer the ruble as a currency option. When the ruble is unavailable, Euros, British Pounds, and US Dollars are sound alternatives. In the latter case, you may be faced with some currency conversion fees, but they are minimal at worst.
Online gambling is illegal on Russian soil, but the Russian government has no jurisdiction over foreign gambling sites. The best they can do is blacklist them, which is easily bypassable through VPN software. The most important thing to highlight is: the Russian government rarely prosecutes individual players for online gambling activities.
Yes, you can play almost any game for free at Russian online casinos. Of course, you can do this via Demo Mode, where you cannot generate any real money winnings. However, Demo Mode is a great way to try out new games before deciding whether it’s a good fit for real money wagers.
Absolutely. The average Russian online casino will shower you with bonuses of all kinds: welcome bonuses, free spins offers, reload and cashback promos, and so forth. Many of these bonuses are marketed in Russian rubles as well, which is a great plus.
Withdrawal fees depend on the method you are using to cash out your money from the casino. In general, you will never be charged a withdrawal fee by the casino itself. However, your payment processor may incur a small transaction surcharge.
Before you can withdraw your online casino winnings, you will need to verify your identity. This is an industry-standard measure for anti-fraudulent behavior. Fear not, however, as this is a simple process that usually involves sending a photo or scan of your government-issued ID alongside a proof of address document.
If you want your cash withdrawal to be processed as fast as possible, then we recommend using an e-wallet. Withdrawal times via these payment methods generally take 12 to 48 hours, which is super-fast when compared to debit card and bank transfer withdrawals.
Russian players can have their pick between dozens of trusted payment options, ranging from e-wallets to prepaid cards. Many of these methods are globally popular, and some are specific to Russian customers in general.