Russian ISP Blocks Affect the Amazon Cloud and PokerStars
Online poker is unregulated in the land of Russia, however, this hasn't stopped the world's biggest online poker rooms from offering services to the country's 144 million residents.
While online poker is completely banned, there have been signs in the past that the country is open to considering regulation due to the lost tax revenue from the estimated 20 percent of the population playing online despite the prohibition, according to estimates by Business Insider contributor Robert Carmona-Borjas. Earlier in the year, the country considered declaring poker a game of skill, which many believe is the first step towards regulation.
While there has been little movement on this front, Russia has licensed three online sports-wagering sites, including Liga, Stavok, and 888.ru. As reported by Poker Industry Pro, 888.ru is not associated with 888poker or any of the brands 888 Holdings operates.
888poker Advertisement Takes Down the Entire Amazon S3 Cloud in Russia
A relatively new battle has been waged by the Russian telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor, blocking IP addresses of unregulated online gaming operators and those advertising their services to the Russian population. While IP blocking unregulated online poker operators in itself is nothing new for the country, the lengths by which this has extended to have taken a new dimension.
The entire Amazon S3 Cloud was blocked from the country in late June for a couple of days due to the service hosting an 888poker advertisement. According to Poker Industry Pro, the block was big, affecting many popular sites and services including Netflix, Airbnb, Twitter, and Dropbox.
The issue, was quickly resolved and Russian poster "gnemtsov" reported two days after on the Amazon Web Services forum that, "Today, Amazon S3 was unblocked in Russia because Amazon fulfilled our government's request to block some prohibited content on S3. Hope this won't repeat in our country."
PokerStars Blocked in Russia Over the Weekend
In related news, the world's largest online poker room, PokerStars, also recently experienced some issues in Russia. Russian poker news outlet Pokeroff reported on Friday, July 8 that many players in the country were experiencing problems connecting to PokerStars.
Pokeroff published a temporary workaround that was previously published by PokerStars when similar issues arose, which required players to make changes to their user.ini file. It was recommended that a back-up to be made of this file in case of any problems.
PokerStars then quickly released a more permanent workaround via its @PokerStarsRU Twitter account and also shared with the Russian online poker communities at GipsyTeam and PokerStrategy.
Users who experienced problems with access can link http://goo.gl/2IcohR . a client must be updated.— PokerStars Россия (@PokerStarsRU)