When you think of Russia, you don’t exactly think of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas Boulevard. While the country has definitely come a long way since the Cold War, it’s not exactly Sin City, nor is it even Atlantic City. But that could soon change.
Earlier this week, the country ushered in a new era of casino gambling as it opened a new casino called Tigre de Cristal Casino & Resort,. The gambling property has 500 slot machines and 50 table games. It’s the first casino in the relatively new gambling zone, located near Vladivostok, a port city in Russia.
While Russia isn’t quite yet Las Vegas of the Pacific, it could very well happen sooner than we think. Just six years ago, Russia was extremely anti-gambling. But today, with the authorization of these resort casinos, things are on their way to be dramatically different.
Despite the fact that legal casinos lightly dot the map in Russia, gambling in the country has a fairly rich history. Back in 2002, there were 58 casinos dotting the Moscow map (yes, Moscow alone). But the industry was completely unregulated so problems were the norm. The government took swift action in 2006, and by 2009 casinos were banned across the country, except for in four separate gambling districts.
Even with the shutdown, illegal casinos have thrived (or at least attempted to thrive). Since 2009, the government has shut down more than 4,000 illegal casinos and more than 25,000 gambling halls. Now, Russia wants to up the ante and compete with emerging gambling markets in nearby Asia.
And this could just be the start. There’s currently a lobbying group dedicated to regulating and legalizing online casino and online poker in Russia. Often overlooked as the world tends to focus on the United States and Europe, Russia is a hugely untapped market.
But while casino gaming isn’t regulated there, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy casino and poker from that part of the world. Many online casinos serve the Russian market. Because they are regulated and licensed in the countries in which they operate as opposed to dealing directly with Russian authorities, and because the Internet is truly global, many Russians enjoy online poker tournaments and online casino games at internationally regulated sites. Just hit the tables at any online poker site and you’ll see countless Russian flags as part of player avatars.
If you’re in the mood to play your favorite casino games, like slots, video poker, table games, and even specialty games such as Keno, head over to Prism Casino and create an account. It’s absolutely free to do and once you’re set up, you can play all your favorites from any Mac, PC, smartphone or tablet. So whether you’re at home chilling on the sofa or in the air on your way to a vacation destination (assuming you’ve got WiFi in the sky) you’re good to go and ready to win.