Casino activities are not always easy to follow internationally, as governments tend to have a say. In many parts of the world, especially in Europe, gambling activity continues to be largely legal and, accordingly, there are casinos that operate openly.
In Russia, things are a bit different. The country passed laws to ban casino gambling across the country, with the exception of four designated regions. The casino business in Russia was more or less “knocked around” just a few decades after its launch.
Believe it or not, there are no casinos or gambling in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Maybe things will change in the future, but casinos are currently banned in the two most popular Russian cities.
4 places in Russia where gambling is allowed
Where can you find a casino in Russia? Basically, there are four regions where the casino activity has remained legal: the Republic of Altai, the Krasnodar Territory, Kaliningrad Oblast and the Primorsky Region. Here are some more details about these places:
Primorsky Krai is located on the Pacific coast of Russia just opposite Japan. It is characterized mainly by the port city of Vladivostok, the largest city in the region.
Vladivostok is a gambling hub and there are currently a few casinos and more being built. It may become the main casino center in Russia, perhaps to compete with some of the other casino hot spots in Southeast Asia, such as Macau.
Altai is a relatively small region in Russian Siberia. It is well known for its beautiful natural attractions such as Teletskoye Lake, Mount Belukha and the Chulyshman Valley. Especially outdoor activities are part of the program of this region.
In the Altai Republic of Russia is also the “Altai Palace Casino” in Gorno-Altaysk. Opened in 2014, Altai Palace Casino offers roulette tables, poker rooms, blackjack, baccarat and more than 100 slot machines.
The Kaliningrad Oblast is a Russian exclave between Lithuania and Poland. This part of Russia is particularly accessible to travelers from Europe, although it is a relatively easy tourist area.
There are some fascinating old cathedrals and museums to visit, although the casino is arguably the main attraction in the area. Known as “Sobranie Casino”, it is the most popular casino in the Kaliningrad Oblast and definitely worth a visit with its 350 slot machines and several poker rooms, roulette and blackjack tables.
Krasnodar Krai & Sochi
The “Sochi Casino and Resort” is located, as the name implies, in Sochi, Russia. It is one of the best casinos in Russia. Krasnodar is perhaps a traditionally more attractive region for travelers as it is located in the European part of Russia. This game zone includes the complex “Azov City” and the city of Sochi, which has made a name for itself in particular in hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Sochi is the place where you can find the biggest and most popular casino in Russia – “Sochi Casino and Resort”. This is the newly built casino complex (it was opened in 2017) where you can play blackjack, poker, roulette or any of the 569 slot machines.
“Sochi Casino and Resort” is the first casino in Sochi and it is planned to open more casinos in the city in the near future. Over the next few years, Sochi will become one of the biggest gambling destinations in Europe.