All casinos have officially been removed from Krasnoyarsk following the passage of a law that banned games of chance in the area. Following the activation of the new statutes, police conducted spot inspections of all former gambling houses and reported that gambling had been all but eliminated from the territory. Illegal slot machine gambling was found at three locations on a small scale, but all other gambling dens had been closed in accordance with the law.
The Russian Newslab reported Sergey Shults, the Deputy-Chief of the Consumer Rights Department, as stating that gambling had been eliminated from Krasnoyarsk. The news followed police inspections that were conducted yesterday at 462 gambling establishments. The establishments that were inspected included 11 casinos, and a large number of taverns and other businesses that were previously allowed to operate slot machines.
The police inspections came on the heels of a gambling prohibition in Krasnoyarsk, which went into full effect on July 1. The police were dispatched to all locations that were previously licensed to offer gambling to patrons, and reported that nearly all locations had fulfilled their legal obligation to cease gambling operations. The exception was three slot machine halls that attempted to operate under the radar. Owners of the slot parlors were located out of the region and were unable to be arrested at the time of the inspection.
"I find it senseless as police will find them in any case, and the infringers will be punished still. I do not think anyone will let their property run risks," Newslab reported Shults as saying, when asked if he thought gambling would become a black market activity in Krasnoyarsk.
The punishment for facilitating gambling in Krasnoyarsk is currently a fine of up to $400. Any gambling equipment, such as slot machines or gambling tables, will be seized by authorities and disposed of at the discretion of the judge.
Even as the police inspections were taking place, more than 500 demonstrators marched to Revolution Square and confronted the Executive Building in protest of the gambling prohibition. Those in attendance were among the 5,000 residents who found themselves unemployed when the prohibition on gambling went into effect.
Those who attended the demonstrations consisted mostly of college students who worked at the casinos in Krasnoyarsk. These unemployed casino workers relied on the gambling industry to pay for their education and to supplement the income of their families. City officials seems unconcerned, noting that a larger group would have assembled if the people really wanted gambling in Krasnoyarsk.