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.