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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Putin & Frist – Separated at Birth?

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Following the lead of the kitten-killing former Republican presidential wannabe from Tennessee, Russian President Vladimir Putin has one-upped American gambling opponents by not only banning online poker in Russia, but relegating casinos to Siberia.

No really, on December 30 2006, Putin signed into law a bill that flew through both houses of the Russian Parliament that not only makes online poker and gambling illegal, but set aside four specific "gambling zones" where casinos must relocate to, all far from the metropolis of Moscow.

One zone is in fact located in Southwestern Siberia, one is near the Baltic Sea, one is in the far Eastern portion of Russia and the other is in the extreme south. This move to decentralize gambling in Russia is seen as a nod to traditionalists who cringe at the flashy casinos and have expressed concerns about the well-being of Russian youth. The new law also sets the national gambling age at 18.

No timeline was given for the internet ban, but the brick and mortar casinos must relocate to the "gambling zones" by July 1, 2009.

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