Police uncover large illegal casino in central Moscow

Moscow police have discovered a large illegal casino in the centre of the Russian capital, police spokeswoman Irina Volk said.

Illegal casinos have mushroomed across Russia since a law came into force in July 2009 banning gambling everywhere except in four remote zones. Moscow police said last month that 388 illegal casinos were shut down in the capital in just the first six weeks of the year.

“Several poker tables, a roulette wheel, and several dozen slot machines were seized [from the casino],” Volk said.

Security was tight at the illegal casino, with passwords needed to get through checks.

Earlier this month Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said organizing illegal casinos should be treated as a crime, not as an administrative offence.

The governors of Moscow and St. Petersburg have complained that the laws against gambling are inadequate, particularly regarding lotteries, which can be used to circumvent the restrictions on gaming, the Kremlin statement said.

In a crackdown in February, a number of officials, including Moscow Region prosecutor Alexander Mokhov and deputy prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko were suspended after police found evidence that they had “hushed up” an illegal gambling ring.

MOSCOW, March 23 (RIA Novosti)


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