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   Sunday, July 23 2017 
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Towards a reclassification of poker as skill game - Russia

The legalization of a regulated online poker market will not yet be for a near future in Russia, but the situation has accelerated recently with the government's intention to reclassify casino games as games of skill. Indeed, the Government of the Federation is currently debating on the reclassification issue of gambling, including poker as game of skill. And if casino game is reclassified as expected, the regulation and the opening of online poker market will be also affected in Russia. In July 2014, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Shuvalov commissioned a study to assess whether poker is or not a skill game. But a few months later, in December, a bill was passed in the Duma making online poker game as illegal in Russia outside the six gaming zones designated by the State.



Earlier this month a meeting was held to discuss the results of the study, and it turns out that poker is a game of skill. Reclassifying casino game as a skill game is currently at the top of the discussion in the government. This result led the Russian President, Vladimir Putin to ask for a study to assess the tax revenue generated by a regulated market of online poker in the country. Its revenue is estimated between $ 30 and 45 million per year. Tax revenues generated by online poker could thus be used to finance sporting events. A portion will be also used to finance the Russian national chess team.

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