In Russia, telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor has revealed that 2016 saw it identify some 87,000 websites that featured prohibited materials including 15,900 that offered online gambling-related services.

Roskomnadzor explained that the number of prohibited websites it uncovered over the twelve-month period represented a 30% increase from 2015 while it successfully managed to warn off some 52,000 while having Internet service providers remove a further 34,500.

The regulator detailed that it had received in excess of 127,000 reports of illicit websites from members of the public during 2016 although it later rejected some 40,000 of these tip-offs as unfounded. It stated that domains offering some form of gambling-related service received the second-highest number of complaints and were only surpassed in 22 categories of banned information by those featuring “extremist materials”.

Of the reported websites offering gambling-related services Roskomnadzor declared that it managed to permanently close 12,561 while over 6,500 were said to be online casino domains, which along with poker sites are expressly forbidden under Russian law.

The Moscow-based regulator revealed that other categories of banned websites include those related to drug trafficking and some forms of pornography while reports of domains offering gambling-related services during the second quarter of the year had risen by almost 153% when compared with the initial three months of 2016.