Who and why Hunts for Illegal Casino Net Owner

Who and why Hunts for Illegal Casino Net Owner

It has long been rumored that the core business of Alexander Mironov is about to be shut down. He is the founder of several gambling nets with the most famous one named Rosbet and financial institutions. He also owns an array of real estate assets. Seemingly, someone is trying to put him behind bars and to split up his properties.

The grounds for these assumptions appeared back in August 2018 when the OMON riot police units units visited gaming establishments of the Rosbet company. As a result, a report on the crackdown on illegal gambling activities of an entire criminal gang was posted on the website of the Investigative Committee. According to it, the Rosbet bookmaker's office was defined as a “cover-up” that disguised illegal gaming establishments as betting shops.

Apparently, Rosbet was one of them. This was highly probable – as a minimum because it ran Betrun, a completely different betting company. The latter had a license issued August 11, 2009. However, in March 2018, the Federal Tax Service initiated a case to revoke this license. Eventually, it raised the upper hand. In reality, the market was well-aware that Rosbet had not done any sports betting but had engaged in real gambling. Moreover, this gambling was organized in accordance with the rules set by Rosbet itself. They were significantly different from those of fair gambling business. According to experts, Rosbet not only passed off an ordinary electronic game for bets on sports events, but also made the winnings less likely.

The "tricks" of Alexander Mironov's company were described in the review made by business counterparts. It was published on the Internet the day after the law enforcement officers visited Rosbet’s gaming outlets.

“Here is a simple example,” said the review. “In the Betrun product, it is stipulated that if the ball hits a certain rectangle on the X and Y coordinate grid there will be a transaction. In this case, if you calculate the length of the side of this rectangle, it is less than the diameter of the ball. This already affects the accuracy of the outcome of the transaction. If we take into account the fact that the rules of gambling state that the error in measurement is actually equal to almost 2.5 rectangles in the system of coordinates, it turns out that the financial result of the bet did not depend that much on the ball’s getting into one or another square.”

Big Gamble

The investigation believes that Alexander Mironov has managed to implement his plan by creating an entire criminal community. According to it, all responsibilities were clearly stipulated. They included the assembly of gambling equipment, software installation, technical support for the work of Internet resources, accounting, and consolidation of the material and financial base.

The Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against Alexander Mironov and a group of his accomplices under Article 171.2 of the Criminal Code on establishing an illegal gambling business by an organized criminal group. Mironov himself got on the federal wanted list. It remains unknown where he is now. According to those who predicted Mironov’s arrest, he dropped off the radar. Probably, he is in a distant island country or somewhere much closer.

A Russian Wet Sauna in Space

In terms of law, Alexander Mironov’s biography is knotty. With this fact in mind, the assumption that he might be hiding out somewhere in Russia seems to be unlikely. Mironov has thousands of reasons to avoid justice. His surname is most often mentioned in connection with asset-grabbing, involvement in an organized criminal gang in Bryansk, a city some 380 km to the southwest of Moscow, and money laundering. The bank Mir was the center of Mironov's financial operations. According to the Central Bank's managers, Mir was involved in dubious transit operations that led to the revocation of its license in December 2016. The bank got under control of Mironov’s associates in March 2014. Apparently, it was at that moment when Mir’s mission was determined. It was "to quickly burn with a clear flame" on the frontline of dubious transactions.

Most likely, it was not a big secret for the Central Bank, as Alexander Mironov never made a secret of his equity participation in the Mir bank. By that time, he was already well known in the business and financial community for his questionable “business activities.” It will just suffice to mention a well-known brothel on the Novy Arbat street in the center of Moscow. Like gambling establishments, it worked behind the screen of the Tsarevna Palace strip club. However, its main business activity was obvious. Already in its very description, which still can be found on the Internet, it was called “not just a strip club on Novy Arbat but a large entertainment center with plenty of choices for excellent men’s recreation.” All these “choices” were available in building № 15, i.e. right on the way of the President’s motorcade to and from the Kremlin. Once it housed the popular Corona Casino that was closed after the ban on gambling activities.

Against this background, the registration of the Russian wet sauna stove at a cost of 1.68 bln rubles ($22.1 mln) as an asset for obtaining the license for a betting terminal looks like a child's play. In order to support this innovation, a complimentary article about Mironov's success on the “stove market” appeared on the pages of a well-known business publication. It explained that the Russian stove "from Mironov" was so expensive because of the use of missile technologies in its manufacturing. Almost a Russian Elon Musk of the sauna business.

Games in Bryansk Forest

Alexander Mironov accomplished all these shenanigans in full view of the regulatory authorities and law enforcement officials of various levels. This suggests that he was under the protection of some heavyweight patrons. During one of the previous scandals around Mironov in 2013, the name of a colonel of the Lipetsk FSB was mentioned. Allegedly, he helped create the gambling empire. In 2012, this colonel was detained by his own colleagues for accepting a bribe. However, by that time, Mironov's entire gaming business worked like a dream. Bryansk became one of the centers of this business. There Mironov had partners with whom he created the Bookmaker Pub network. The same Sergey Kashkov, Dmitry Kazorin, and Roman Semiokhin are figures in the Rosbet case.

They are also on the international wanted list but related to the case of the organization of the 1xBet illegal online casino. Through it, more than 60 bln rubles ($789.6 mln) were withdrawn from Russia. Apparently, Sergey Kashkov, Dmitry Kazorin, and Roman Semiokhin prefer to watch the situation in Russia from Cyprus. They have quite solid reasons for doing so. The fact is that the mentioned 1xBet and Bookmaker Pub turned out to be somehow connected through the same Mironov. He has sold his project Bookmaker Pub and a part of Rosbet to Bryansk’s 1xBet company. At present, Mironov whose whereabouts are unknown is demanding that the Russian court cancel the deal. This looks somewhat strange taking into account that it is an offshore business in a best-case scenario or, in fact, an illegal one.

It seems, though, that the case is not about the “gambling component” but about real estate, which is on the 1xBet balance sheet. The online casino has quite real assets in its ownership such as the net of the Linya hypermarkets and several shopping malls in central Russia. These assets bring very real money. So, it is no surprise that a real fight has started for them. Possibly, new and much more serious people will appear in it. In this case, turning up in jail might be far from the worst scenario for Alexander Mironov.

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