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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Briton Ran Illegal Casino in $60,000-a-Month Apartment

Moscow police have closed an illegal casino operated by a British citizen in a $60,000-per-month apartment in western Moscow.

The casino, which operated for several months, raked in tens of millions of rubles, easily recouping the cost of the luxury apartment on the 24th floor of a building on Mosfilmovskaya Ulitsa, police spokesman Filipp Zolotnitsky said Thursday.

Clients were admitted on recommendation, which had to be approved by the unidentified British owner, who has fled, Zolotnitsky told The Moscow Times.

The casino had two poker tables, two roulettes, 10 gambling machines and a bar serving expensive drinks, including cognac for $15,000 a bottle.

Police have confiscated money in various currencies amounting to 15 million rubles ($500,000), as well as gambling chips and financial documents, Zolotnitsky said.

He did not say how police had learned about the casino.

If arrested and charged with running an illegal casino, the British national faces up to five years in prison. Casinos were banned last summer under a federal law that restricts gambling to four far-flung regions of Russia.

Separately, investigators have uncovered an illegal casino in a two-story building on Ulitsa Malaya Ordynka outside the Tretyakovskaya metro station, the Interior Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Uniformed police officers stormed the premises shortly after undercover officers entered the casino as clients and bought gambling chips.

The casino operated four tables for blackjack and poker, a roulette wheel and 21 gambling machines.

Clients were admitted on recommendation and had to buy at least $3,000 worth of gambling chips on entrance.

The building had security guards and was fitted with surveillance cameras.

Police confiscated 28 million rubles ($935,000) found in the gambling machines, as well as 700,000 rubles ($23,000), $10,000 and gambling chips with a face value of $3.2 million.