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Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs closes down country’s largest illegal online gaming operator

By - 15 January 2024

Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs along with the National Security Committee, with the Prosecutor General’s Office, has successfully closed down the biggest network of illegal online casinos in Kazakhstan, operating as lottery clubs.

They discovered that the operator could manually regulate the outcome of games. The crackdown comprised 570 searches carried out in the offices of lotto clubs. Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Security Committee seized 23 guns, 247 million tenge ($546,500) and 55 million Russian rubles, $125,000.

As a result, the operation of 326 lotto clubs were suspended throughout the country. Servers were blocked. More than 3,000 employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Security Committee took part in the operation.

Kuandyk Alpys, Head of the department for combating organized crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, said: “Criminals controlled gambling establishments and committed crimes against employees and clients of lotto clubs. In addition to illegal gambling activities, security guards and administrators organized prostitution services for VIP clients. Facts of drug use have been recorded. Over 400 people were detained during the operation. Eight main organizers of the criminal scheme, including foreign citizens, were arrested.”

“The pre-trial investigation established that the monthly total profit of lotto clubs averaged 300mtenge ($663,800) in just one region, and about 6 billion tenge ($13.2m) from all regions of the country. About 70 per cent of funds were transferred abroad. About 900 million tenge ($1.9m) was received monthly into the bank account of only one of the organizers.”

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