Online and offline lotteries are legal in Russia. They are governed by the state monopoly. Before 2014, there were numerous private lotteries, but the authorities shut them down, leaving the state lottery of Trade House Stoloto as the only legal operator. It is still the contractor for the state lottery to date.
Lottery legislation in Russia
The Russian law defines gambling as a risk-based arrangement where two or more parties, with or without the help of an operator, have a chance of winning a prize depending on the set rules. However, lotteries are not part of these games of chances, and so they are regulated separately.
The legal definition of a lottery is, a game administered by one party (an operator) who controls the draws for the prize pool. Should the other party (participant) win according to the lottery terms, they are entitled to prize money.
The law recognizes such concepts as a promotional event, public competition, and public promise for prizes. The concepts apply to business promotions and games of skills, but they cannot be conducted in a manner that triggers lottery regulations.
The legal language of each game type is obscure, so providers must be careful not to offer anything illegal. The initial bets and ticket sales must be characterized by non-risky criteria for selecting the winners. Moreover, Russian lotto games shouldn't have a specific objective, and winners must not be announced by judges.