Vice Policy in Russia: Alcohol, Tobacco, Gambling

33 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2017

Date Written: July 10, 2017


In the past dozen years the regulatory systems surrounding the traditional vices of alcohol, tobacco, and gambling have been extensively overhauled in Russia, generally in the direction of tighter control. This paper surveys these reforms and assesses their impact. In the case of alcohol and tobacco, the reforms generally have been quite salutary, even as opportunities to engage legally in these vices remain plentiful; Russia’s extensive geographical ban on casino gambling might rein in compulsive wagering, but at the cost of putting legal casino gambling out of reach for most Russians. Informal markets continue to limit the effectiveness of formal vice market regulations, but do not preclude the maintenance of robust regimes that can protect (arguably) rational vice participation, while still raising meaningful barriers to less-than-fully considered vice decision-making.

Keywords: alcohol, tobacco, gambling, casinos, Russia, vice, cigarettes, robustness

JEL Classification: L51, K00, I18, P37, O52

Suggested Citation

Leitzel, Jim, Vice Policy in Russia: Alcohol, Tobacco, Gambling (July 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Jim Leitzel (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-8555 (Phone)

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