Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 31

Ingushetia, meanwhile, might follow its neighbor in banning gambling. Moskovsky komsomolets on August 10 quoted Ingushetian President Murat Zyazikov as saying he had received a request from the republic’s clergy and social organizations to close down gaming establishments. “If things go much further, there will be more gaming establishments in the North Caucasus than in Las Vegas,” Zyazikov said, adding that games of chance do not jibe with the Ingush mentality. Kavkazky Uzel reported on August 8 that an appeal from Ingushetian community representatives and representatives of the republic’s elders to Zyazikov, along with the republic’s premier and People’s Assembly, declared that “games of chance highly negatively influence the spiritual moral condition of society” and called on the Ingushetian authorities to take harsh measures to limit the activity of gaming clubs. Ingushetia’s religious leaders, the website reported, believe that “gaming mania” not only negatively influences the rising generation but also contradicts the norms of Islam, which put gambling on the same level as narcotics and alcohol addiction.

Kavkazky Uzel also quoted Khasan Atigov, chairman of the Ingush All-National Union “Daimohk” as saying: “Possibly from the economic point of view gaming establishments bring some revenue to the budget, however we cannot forget that over-indulgence in games of chance negatively influence the moral condition of society and degrade the youth. And this is not only our opinion: a majority of the society and the clergy of the republic believe this. We also receive complaints from the parents of young people who spend a lot of money in game parlors and go into debt. Considering the situation, we appealed to the government and the People’s Assembly with the proposal to create a joint commission to study this issue. It is necessary to develop special legislation banning or limiting the activity of gaming establishments in Ingushetia.” Atigov added, however, that such measures should not violate the rights of entrepreneurs. “The problem should be resolved with joint efforts, by means of beliefs and compromises.”