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ONLINE DEPOSITS AND OFFLINE BETS COMPANY


2019


Fonbet Winline


Liga Stavok 1xstavka BetBoom Parimatch BetCity


OlimpBet BaltBet


MarathonBet Leon


MostBet MelBet Tennisi TOTAL


RUB136.bn RUB29.6bn RUB49.6bn RUB37.4bn RUB19.9bn RUB7.5bn RUB16bn


RUB10.4bn RUB8.6bn RUB2.5bn RUB4bn


RUB4.9bn


RUB191,921 RUB1.43bn


RUB329.2bn


2020


RUB178.5bn RUB47.9bn RUB41.8bn RUB41.1bn RUB19.0bn RUB15.4bn RUB15.4bn RUB13.5bn RUB5.3bn RUB3.8bn RUB3.8bn RUB2.2bn RUB2bn


RUB1.45bn RUB391.8bn


MARKET SHARE 46%


12% 11% 10% 5% 4% 4% 3% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%


any criminal record. Applicants for betting and totalisator licences need to have a land-based processing centre for bets and comply with certain financial requirements, such as a registered capital RUB100m, company assets of at least RUB1bn and a bank guarantee 500m.


Online gambling was banned in 2006 when Law No. 244-FZ was introduced. However, online casinos run by those operators licensed in reputable gambling jurisdictions, such as the Isle of Man, UK or Malta, were permitted.


Te 2006 law was aimed at tightening up the control of the gambling market, increasing taxes and developing gambling within the gaming zones. However, a large black market still existed.


leading betting companies (those with over RUB1bn income - see table above).


ONLINE GAMBLING


Russia’s relationship with online gambling has notoriously been an ‘on and off’ affair for years.


Tere are three main gambling sectors which exist in Russia - state lotteries, casinos and EGM operations in specific gambling zones and bookmakers (online and offline). Tere are two basic requirements for all licence applicants – only a Russian legal entity may apply for a licence or permit and shareholders must not have


During this time the lottery markets also grew with little state control over licensing or taxes. Private lotteries were later banned from 2014 with only two state lotteries permitted – Sportloto (6.5 per cent market share) and GSL (93.5 per cent market share). Te lottery is distributed by Stoloto online and via more than 60,000 points of sale.


Te law set up a regulatory body called Te Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) to create a blacklist of unauthorised online gambling sites.


By 2012 the Supreme Court of Russia backtracked and decided to also block overseas online gambling sites to prevent Russian players accessing them. Basically, Russia wanted to protect its land-based casino market, protect vulnerable gamblers and stop underage gambling and addiction problems, whilst fraud


and money laundering needed to be controlled.


Roskomnadzor blocked around 63,000 online gambling domains in 2017 rising to 130,000 in 2018. Despite the ban there are ways and means to circumnavigate these controls and it is believed 65 per cent of gambling in Russia is still conducted illegally through unlicensed online casinos.


In 2018, Russian banks joined the fight against illegal gambling and blocked money transfers from players to illegal blacklisted gambling sites.


It’s not just the gambling industry that’s affected by the new law. Te bill also authorises Rokomnadzor as a media and Internet watchdog able to ban online resources and social media sites such as Youtube and Facebook, which are accused of being biased against Russian media.


For years the Kremlin has tried to exert control over online information by censorship or blocking Internet access completely. Twitter has seen its loading speeds slowed dramatically after Russia accused the social media company of failing to remove some 3,000 posts relating to suicide, drugs or pornography. Twitter is widely used by opponents to the Kremlin, including Alexei Navalny who was jailed in January after returning to Russia after a poisoning attack in Siberia. Twitter is the sixth biggest social media site in Russia.


Te Russia government is also utilising laws signed in 2019 that gave Rokomnadzor the power to restrict access to social media sites. It’s the first time Russia has enacted such a law and the watchdog warned Twitter if it failed to delete posts with ‘illegal’ material it could block the social media company entirely.


WIRE / PULSE / INSIGHT / REPORTS P63


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