Even though a lot of online Poker sites in Russia continue to operate in what has become a pretty unexplored grey area of the law, more traditional forms of gambling seem to be policed more and way more restricted. The laws from 2009 that restricted all gambling to only four disparate regions of Russia was seen as a pretty bold move for the Putin administration in response to the free for all that was taking place until then.
By 2002 Moscow already had over 58 casinos, 2000 gaming rooms and over 70,000 slot machines. This might seem like a little much for a city of just over 11 million people but you have to take all the tourists into account as well. But sadly the corruption and money laundering that plagued the industry was also accompanied by a lot of tax evasion so when the state decided to finally step in, there was very little opposition.
The four regions that were selected are Kaliningrad which is located next to the Baltic Sea, Primorsky Krai located on the Pacific rim, Altai Krai in south western Siberia and Krasnodar Krai which is on the corner of the Black Sea. While the first and last one were focused at the Russian market mostly it is clear from their placement that the other two are mainly targeted at Chinese gamblers who want to take a trip to some place other than Macau.