Monday, June 29, 2009

The Debts of the Lenders: Putin Closes All Casinos In Russia

In the 1990s and even early 2000's, Russia and the rest of the CIS was renowned for casino capitalism - literally. Shady characters dressed in track jumpsuits, gold chains, and designer sunglasses used to run the economy. But no more. Or at least not openly.

Putin has decided to return to the old days of the Soviet era by banning gambling. But in the process, he is also throwing a disruptive wrench in the economy. The NY Times predicts that thousands of people will be laid off as a result of the new laws.

A government loophole that legalizes gambling in the more remote reaches of the vast Russian landscape is not doing much to assuage workers and customers alike. It is unlikely that travelers would journey to the Russian Far East or somewhere else equally distant.

Like in the days of Dostoyevsky, gambling will simply revert to its primal roots as an underground activity.

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