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10 underground casinos shut down in Russia

Posted on Dec 02, 10:06PM | IANS

Police have shut down 10 underground casinos with over 50 gaming machines in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, the interior ministry said Sunday.

Economic security and anti-corruption officers of the ministry have terminated the activities of 10 casinos in Nalchik.

Police seized 56 slot machines and a poker table.

The organisers have been identified and will be held responsible.

Illegal casinos have mushroomed across Russia since a law came into force in July 2009 banning gambling everywhere except in four remote zones.

Under the law, casinos and other gaming establishments can operate only in four remote areas designated for gambling -- 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.

In a crackdown in 2011, a number of officials, including Moscow region prosecutor Alexander Mokhov and deputy prosecutor Alexander Ignatenko were suspended after police found evidence that they had "hushed up" an illegal gambling ring.