Russia Has Shut Down 61,000 Illegal Casinos Since Gambling Ban

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) – Russian police have uncovered and closed down more than 61,000 underground gambling establishments since gaming became illegal in the country in 2009, the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.

The owners of underground gambling parlors have been fined a total of 602 million rubles ($17.1 million), and police have confiscated over 796,000 slot machines and other gaming equipment, the statement said.

According to police, the 2009 law confining gambling to four remote Russian regions has caused the number of illegal casinos and other gambling establishments to skyrocket and created greater opportunities for corruption.

Many gambling dens operate under the guise of Internet clubs or bingo halls.

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