MOSCOW, November 22 (RIA Novosti) - An underground casino in downtown Moscow has been shut down in a special operation, the city's police said on Thursday.
"Video surveillance was installed around the perimeter of the building and associated territory, entrance was gained through safe doors after a phone call to the manager, and on recommendation of trusted clients. The casino had special poker tables, four roulette tables, and 34 gaming machines," the police press statement said.
Police passed themselves off as clients to gain entry. Once they had confirmed that they had identified an illegal casino, special forces officers blockaded the building's entrance.
All the gambling equipment was seized, and police are now looking for the organizers.
In July 2009 gambling was banned across the country - except for in four particular zones. After closing down the formerly "legitimate" casinos in line with this law, Russia's law enforcement agencies have faced a continuing problem of underground gambling establishments.