Earlier this month, Russia carried out expansive gambling restrictions, shutting down thousands of casinos and slot parlors. However, poker was legally classified as a sport by the Russian government in 2007, and many believed they’d be able to reorganize poker rooms as private clubs.
This has now been overturned. There are about 70 poker licenses that have been nullified due to this reclassification, and the ban in general has left around 400,000 people unemployed, which is the last thing the Russian economy needs.
What impact this will have on the clear poker boom (both live and online) in Russia is hard to pin down yet. However, Poker Stars has switched the location of their EPT event in Moscow to Kiev.
Read more about the Russian poker ban in the New York Times here. More pics from an old-time fave shoot of Russian model Amanda Braun in the below thumbs.
Hey, You Can Still Play Poker Online, Comrades