In 2007 FSPR successfully managed to achieve sport status for poker in Russia, was recognised by the Russian government and was included in the State Register of Sports. For two years the Russian Sport Poker Federation held the official national poker championships.
In 2008, Russia and Ukraine initiated the formation of the International Federation of Poker, which was established in Lausanne, April 30, 2009 by the representatives of 7 countries.
On July 1, 2009 all casinos in Russia were banned (outside the special gambling zones) and poker was removed from the Official Sports Register. Poker clubs have since closed or gone underground and the Russian Sport Poker Federation ceased to exist.
Since then there have been several registered organisations with the objective of legalising poker in Russia. These organisations pretend to be the governing body for poker activity in Russia. However, none of these organisations are as influential as FSPR.
It can be said that to date, a strong national federation of poker does not exist in Russia. However, efforts are being undertaken to create one. Given the current attitude of the authorities to gambling, it is very difficult even to register an organisation that contains the word ‘poker’ in it’s name.
Nevertheless, we are hopeful that the efforts of the IFP and other national poker federations will be recognised and poker will receive sport status in the near future, which will lead to the Russian government changing its attitude to poker.