Massive addition to Russian ISP-blocking blacklist
In what appears to be the start of a new anti-online gambling initiative, Russian authorities have added a massive 600 new sites to the national blacklist which local ISP's are obliged to block.
Initial reports are that the wide-ranging list includes major companies like Unibet, Pokerstars, Titan Poker and Party Poker.
Maxim Ksenzov, deputy head of Russia's federal telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor, used Twitter to respond to media questions regarding the resurgence in blocking, commenting that the order to include the sites came from the national prosecutor's office, and that the authority was a June 2013 decree on which the prosecutor did not provide full details.
In answer to twoplustwo poker forum enquiries, a Pokerstars spokesman said the company was aware of the situation in Russia, but did not believe it changed Pokerstars' ability to offer services to Russian punters, and that it would be business as usual going forward.
"Our terms and conditions make it clear that our services are not for use in jurisdictions where it is illegal to do so, but the measures taken by Roskomnadzor, and the resulting action with the Common Registry of Banned Websites that prevents access to our PokerStars.com website, does not affect ability to continue playing at PokerStars," the spokesman wrote.
The publication Gambling Intelligence appears to feel that the latest move is the start of a "much wider crackdown on online gambling."
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa