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MOSCOW, July 30 (RIA Novosti) - Most Russians welcome the relocation of all casinos to special gambling zones, but many will continue to gamble online, according to a survey by Profi Online Research published on Tuesday.
Under a 2007 law designed to curb gambling in major cities and boost economic growth in poorer regions, casinos and other gaming establishments have to close in most of Russia by midnight on Tuesday.
The pollster surveyed 500 people from major Russian cities. A total of 72% said they supported the law, while 19% opposed it. Only 2% of respondents said they knew nothing about the issue and 7% said they were not interested in the problem.
The survey showed that 43% of the respondents had gambled at casinos, on slot machines, in lotteries or online in the past six months. Fifty-eight percent of them said they were likely to continue gambling online.
From July 1, gambling will be restricted to four remote Russian regions - the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, southern Siberia's Altai territory, Primorye on the Pacific coast, and in southern Russia on the border of the Krasnodar territory and the Rostov region.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.