12:36 GMT +318 October 2017
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    Number of gambling venues set to fall in Moscow

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    MOSCOW, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Duma, the capital's legislature, passed a bill on gambling business in Moscow in the first reading Wednesday.

    The bill stipulates general requirements for the location of casinos, amusement arcades, and bookmakers' offices in the capital, and the penalties for violations in this field.

    The bill imposes a limit on the overall number of gambling houses in Moscow. It will be up to the city government to decide on the number of such places in each district. Procedures on them will have to be agreed with prefect's offices in the city's administrative districts, and amusement arcade-related issues with local municipal authorities.

    Gambling facilities must not be located in residential buildings, in kindergartens, schools, other educational institutions, or medical organizations, or closer than 500 meters away from them. The bill envisages a mechanism to ensure that these regulations are observed and penalties for any violations.

    Andrei Metelsky, a proponent of the bill, said 56 casinos and more than 2,000 amusement arcades were open in Moscow, and the overall number of slot machines exceeded 50,000. Members of the city legislature said Moscow had more places where people could gamble than other capitals. Despite differences over the bill, Moscow's lawmakers agreed under the circumstances that it had to be passed as soon as possible.

    The Moscow Duma's legal department said the bill fell under the Moscow Duma's jurisdiction as it was within the joint competence of the Russian Federation and its constituent members, of which Moscow is one. Russia does not have a nationwide law on legal relationships in the gambling business.

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