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Police Bust Russian $1.5M Per Day Gambling Chain

Russian police have broken up an illegal gambling operation that brought in daily earnings of 50 million rubles ($1.5 million), the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

"Police exposed a group in Russia whose participants organized gambling games on the Internet under the guise of bookmaking activity in violation of Russian legislation," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The casino's organizers created a website registered abroad to involve a large number of players, including minors, the statement said.

"In order to make bets, a client was given an individual deposit account that could be replenished with the help of various electronic payment systems and bankcards, and in case of a win, a client normally went to the bookmaker's office," the statement said.

The organized group carried out gambling activity both in Russia, where it had more than 900 betting offices, and abroad.

"According to preliminary estimates, the daily income of the gambling business organizers amounted to 50 million rubles," the statement said.

"During the search operations in the bookmakers' Moscow office, the police seized server equipment with a database of players' personal data, draft notes and other documents," the statement said.

Since 2009, casinos and other gaming establishments in Russia have only been allowed to operate legally in four remote designated areas, in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, south Siberia's Altai Territory, Primorye in the Far East, and in southern Russia near the Sea of Azov.

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