Is online gambling legal is Russia? What are the top Russian casinos? These are the questions we aim to answer in this guide. We will show you how to find the best real money online casinos out there, all of which are geared towards Russian players.
Russia Online Gambling Laws
Unfortunately, Russia is not a gambling friendly country and online gambling isn’t as widely available or accepted here as it is elsewhere. In 2006 a law passed that basically banned all forms of gambling across the country, except for in four regions. There is also a government controlled blacklist of websites that they effectively stop citizens from visiting.
Prior to 2006, things were much less restricted and online gambling was much more common. These days, you can still gamble online, but there are many online casinos and other gambling sites that just don’t accept Russian players.
There are many sites based overseas that Russian players can join, but a large chunk of these have been blocked and if you have a Russian IP address then you are not able to visit, let alone join. Of course, there are ways around it and it’s not all bad news.
Firstly, not all gambling sites are blocked and there are accessible online casinos for Russian players out there. Secondly, there are ways that you can bypass these IP blocks and get to the big casinos. You just need to browse anonymously or via the use of a VPN.
Russia Only Casinos
There are actually very few casinos that were established purely to cater for the Russian market. This would be commercial suicide for any gambling company, because while this is a large market, it always makes sense to open up your doors to all other countries, whether they are in Europe, America or Australia.
However, there are casinos that are predominantly Russian. You can still join if you are based outside of Russia, but you will notice that they are not exactly catered towards you if that is the case. They tend to operate in the English language and they let you translate to other languages, but the translations are not the best, the banking options will be somewhat alien to customers outside of Russia and they tend not to be regulated by commissions such as the UK Gambling Commission and by regulators like the Malta Gaming Authority.
Some of the best Russian centric casinos include MobileBet and Kasyno. Both of these have a very global feel to them. They may not look like they are catered towards Russian players to begin with, but they are and they attract a vast majority of players from this country. The same can be said for Rizk, which is almost entirely Russian. This casino is essentially a duplicate of Guts, but it is one that was created for Russian players.
Why Are So Many Russia Casinos Based Overseas?
There are many European casinos that get a lot of traffic from Russia. These casinos are often regulated in countries like Malta and they are created purely for the European market, with a focus on players in the UK. These casinos are able to accept Russian players because they abide by the laws of the countries they are based in, and they tend to be very popular with Russian players as well.
Two of the biggest of these are Spin Palace and Jackpot City. These are slot-heavy sites that offer a wealth of bonuses and promotions, as well as a long list of banking options and a host of top games. They are not perfect, and if you like table games, live dealer games and updated casino software, then they may not be what you are looking for, but they are still worthwhile casinos.
Other casinos that offer their services to players in Russia include giants of the gambling world like Bet365 and BetWay. These are two of the biggest gambling brands on the planet, and they have just what you need whether you enjoy poker, bingo, casino games or sports betting.
Speaking of poker, Russian players tend to populate sites like Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker, and they are actually some of the best players on those sites. They play at all levels and as any top poker player will tell you, they tend to know what they are doing. Some of the most prolific players are from Russia, and they account for a large percentage of players who have attained the Supernova Elite member status on Pokerstars and the corresponding member status on Full Tilt.
Russian players are also in plenty supply on the betting exchanges Pinnacle and BetFair, with more on the latter than the former. However, while sports betting tends to trump casino play and poker in most countries around the world, it actually plays second fiddle in Russia. They love their card games and casino games in this country. This is where Open-Face Chinese Poker was created under a decade ago; it’s where some of the richest poker players and the biggest casino high rollers are; and it’s where you are never too far away from a good game of cards.
So, whether you are Russian and you’re looking for the best casinos, or you want to play alongside Russian players, there is no shortage of casinos that will embrace you.
What Makes a Good Russia Casino?
A good real money online casino for Russian players is one that is actually catered toward those players and their needs. This means including all of the following things:
- Russian Language: There are sites out there that will profess to be catered toward Russian players, but won’t have anything in Russian. This is frustrating. It means that you either have to know English or you have to use translating programs, which are simply not reliable. You want a casino that was crated in your own language as this makes it feel more natural. If a casino truly was created with Russian players in mind, then it should provide this option.
- Poker: As mentioned above, Russian gamblers love a good game of poker, so it is a must that all Russian online casinos include a selection of poker games. At the very least they should induce a couple variants of Three-Card Poker, but the best should also include Hold’em Poker, OFC Poker and plenty of Video Poker. Microgaming tends to be very good and ticks all of these boxes, but you should also look for one that combines NetEnt, IGT and other games.
- Banking Options: Russian players want specific banking options that cater for their needs. The basic casinos will only focus on credit cards and debit cards. But the best of them will also allow you to use all kinds of web wallets, wire transfers and more. You should also look for Bitcoin casinos, as this currency is popular with Russian gamblers, albeit quite rare.
- Bonuses: Free spins are only good if you actually play on slot machines, which many Russian gamblers just don’t do. Instead, you should look for bonuses such as no deposit bonuses and matched deposit bonuses. These are great for table games such as blackjack and poker in all of its forms. The bigger the better, but make sure you don’t get lured in by free spins if you don’t think you will actually have a use for them.