Russia Struggles With Illegal FIFA Gambling

Published Tuesday, March 06, 2018 -
Russia Struggles With Illegal FIFA Gambling

The current political climate in Russia has caused the gambling public in that country to be concerned about the legality of their wagers. Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor is constantly watching and challenging illegal foreign gambling operators but also the unlicensed Russian sites that moves money via Russian shell companies. The government watchdog has told Russian internet service providers countless times to block those blacklisted unregulated online sports wagering locations along with affiliate marketing portals, and offshore payment processing sites. In 2012 a ruling by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation made Internet service providers responsible for blocking gambling sites that were illegally offering games in Russia.

The heat is on with the upcoming FIFA World Cup of football being held in Russia in2018 which is filled with concerns amidst allegations of corruption in the FIFA bidding process as well as doping scandals in Russian sports among other worries. There are also the allegations of match-fixing in the Russian domestic leagues and the fact Russia has reduced the budget for the tournament by $560 million since it won the venue competition.

The country has regulated and legalized sports betting so the intended so the changes may prove to be advantageous for the sports books that are licensed by the state but the government still suggests that 65 percent is going to unregulated operators.

Anton Rozhkovsky,  director of Russia’s centralized, government-sanctioned sports betting payments provider, TsUPIS has said the total revenue volume of the legal and offshore online bookmaking market is more than $2 billion a year,” The official added, “We do not pretend to know if the actual figure is $2.5 billion or $4 billion,” “Around 70 percent of that is illegal, offshore business.”

There are 15 licensed bookmakers that operate in the betting market in Russia with UK online gambling operator GVC becoming the first foreign operator to enter the Russian market. The authorities want to encourage more offshore operators to register for licenses.





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