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Casino Azino777 was managed through Ukraine: how was its work organized in Kyiv

What happened?

The Investigation Department of the National Police of Kyiv is investigating the work of the online casino Azino777. According to law enforcement officers, casino administration was operating through the Royal Game company, registered in Ukraine. Its establisher and owner is a 33-year-old Russian IT specialist Albert Valiakhmetov. The name of the owner was figured out by The Bell journalists according to Ukrainian court documents.

What is Azino777?

Online casino Azino777 is one of the largest in runet. In the Russian Federation, the related to it sites are blocked and still continue to be blocked, however, the casino continues to operate. According to RBC, the total amount of interest rates per year is estimated at about 15 billion rubles (about $228 million). According to the Mediascope study, in the first half of 2018, this casino became the largest advertiser of the runet in terms of video advertising (7.1% of impressions), overtaking such TMs as PepsiСо and Yandex by the number of impressions, reports TJournal. The casino is well-known, including thanks to aggressive online advertising: viewers of pirated online cinemas have seen its video ads more than once, where the rapper AK advertises the service: “Everyone says: AK, and how to raise the money? Azino-three-axes, the game is on.”

The RBC editor who registered at the casino wrote in his investigation that letters from the online casino support service come through the Yandex service from Moscow’s IP addresses. However, it turned out that the casino owner managed it through a company established in Ukraine.

Why are the Ukrainian police involved?

In June 2018, in the Kyiv office of Royal Game, Ukrainian police officers conducted a search within the criminal investigation under Art. 203-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (operating gambling business), since gambling in Ukraine has been banned since 2009.

During the investigation, law enforcement officers discovered that starting from 2014 until the present time, citizens of the Russian Federation and Ukraine organized the activities of the online casino Azino777 in Kyiv. These individuals developed electronic games and simulators for gambling, as well as administered the sites azino777.com, azino777.net, 777azino.com, 777azino.net, azino-777.com, and others. During the search, police officers seized computers, mobile phones and flash drives, on which they found files related to the activities of Azino777.

In court rulings on search, examination, and so on the casino managers are not named, however, The Bell journalists have found other documents by the case number, where the owner of the company is listed.

Using the name and EDRPOU (Unified State Register of Enterprises and Organizations of Ukraine) code of the company from court documents, which is LLC Royal Game, 39191558, you can make sure that Albert Valiakhmetov is its head manager. It is impossible to reach the Valiakhmetov over the number indicated as the one listed in registration documents, the caller is redirected to the answering machine.

How was the work of the company organized in Ukraine?

According to AIN.UA, a team of about 15 people under the Orion Lab brand was involved in the work of the casino in Kyiv. In the Russian Federation, Alfa Script company, located in Naberezhnye Chelny (registered at Mashinostroitelnaya Str. 91a, office A707 (7th floor, IT park), is engaged in development, one of its managers is Stepan Sobchik. In the Kyiv casino office, located next to “Palace Ukraine”, developers, designers and marketers worked. The connection between Orion Lab and Azino777 is indirectly indicated by the domain orionlab.ru (which is now unavailable) which was on the same IP address with azino-azino.com and azinoazino.com, and also had a common Azino Subdomain – v16.orionlab.ru, as well as Shared SSL Certificate –orionlab888.com. The employees of the company have gambling indicated in their resumes as current occupation. However, the last months of work end in 2015, which suggests that the company has closed or changed its brand in Ukraine.

Photo of the alleged casino organizer, source: The Bell

The organizer of the company, Albert Valiakhmetov, does not have large property or companies in the Russian Federation. Valiakhmetov lived in Naberezhnye Chelny (Azino777 has one more office there). According to The Bell, in 2013, he began to travel to Kazan and Kyiv, at the same time the Azino domain appeared in the .ru zone. At the same time, he deleted accounts in all social networks. In the summer of 2015, Valiakhmetov opened n Royal Game bank account at the Kyiv branch of Sberbank, through which a part of the casino payments was processed.

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