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Russian bookmakers gear up for a 50 per cent rise in betting during World Cup

Niji Narayan

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Photo credits: www.fifa.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The licensed online sports betting operators in Russia are bracing for a 50 per cent increase in the betting activity during the 2018 FIFA World Cup that opens today. However, they are not happy with the government support in their bid to tackle their international rivals.

Last week, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Syromolotov predicted there would be 50 per cent surge in betting activity during the World Cup, in a speech at an anti-sports corruption conference in Vienna.

Russia’s online bookmakers must agree as already there has been increased traffic to betting websites ahead of the World Cup. The government did it bit by slapping new restrictions that barred local financial institutions from processing payments between Russian punters and international gambling sites.

Syromolotov’s optimistic view was echoed by Yuri Krasovsky, president of the First Self-Regulatory Organization of Russian Bookmakers (First SRO), who issued a statement last week saying the new restrictions “will definitely complicate the activities” of non-Russian operators and “increase the inflow” to Russian-licensed sites.

Russia’s official telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor is doing its bit by ramping up its protectionist measures. Roskomnadzor blocked over 9000 online gambling domains in the month of May – around 300 per day – and blocked a further 2640 sites in just the first week of June.

But Krasovsky, who also runs Russian bookmaker Liga Stavok, insisted that the efforts of the Federal Tax Service (FTS) and Roskomnadzor “are clearly not enough” to eradicate foreign competition. (For the record, some 333 non-Russian Liga Stavok domains appear on Roskomnadzor’s naughty list. Just saying.)

Krasovsky wants the government to speed up plans to simplify the convoluted online account sign-up process and to relax rules requiring bookmakers to withhold a cut of bettors’ winnings for tax purposes. Only with this “integrated approach” does Krasovsky see Russian betting sites taking their rightful place as the only viable option for local bettors.

The FTS recently announced plans to “name and shame” both companies and individuals who violate local gambling laws by publishing the identities of offenders online. The new rules would require this info to be published on the government’s official online portal within three days of a conviction being handed down by the courts.

 

Source: CalvinAyre.com

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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Industry News

BetBright closes UK operations

Niji Narayan

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BetBright closes UK operations
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BetBright has closed its operations in the UK by selling its entire technology stack and assets to 888 Holdings for €15 million. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) approved the move and termed it as the right step as there was a strong chance of going into insolvent liquidation if the company remained operational.

BetBright will refund all pending payments and winnings in 30 days’ time.

The gambling commission confirmed that it had been overseeing the company and that there was a “very real possibility of going into insolvent liquidation if it remained open,” resulting in customers receiving no winnings and no refunds on stakes which had been placed.

“This was a significant risk for BetBright’s customers and therefore we are content that the return of stakes, as part of an orderly closure of the business, is the best option available for the vast majority of customers in what is an unusual and difficult situation,” explained the UKGC.

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A new Ireland trust to collect funds from bookmakers to support gambling addiction research

Niji Narayan

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A new Ireland trust to collect funds from bookmakers to support gambling addiction research
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The Ireland-based Gambling Awareness Trust will raise funds from bookmakers to support gambling addiction research and counselling services.

The Irish Bookmakers Association will donate €1 million a year to help a newly established body to tackle problem gambling and gambling addiction in the country, local news outlet the Independent reports.

The Gambling Awareness Trust was formed just recently and aims to raise funds for research into problems caused by excessive gambling and information campaigns. The new body will also help finance agencies that provide counselling and related services.

Former Irish Junior Agriculture Minister Tom Hayes will chair the trust. Its board will not have a representative from the Irish Bookmakers Association, it became known. An official announcement about the body is yet to be released.

News about the new Gambling Awareness Trust emerged amid growing criticism towards the Irish government, which has been delaying the adoption of a bill that aims to re-organise and regulate the local gambling market for six years now.

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Central Europe

Czech gambling investment groups KKCG and EMMA Capital decide to split on SAZKA

Niji Narayan

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Czech gambling investment groups KKCG and EMMA Capital decide to split on SAZKA
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Czech gambling investment companies KKCG and EMMA Capital have agreed up on splitting their share holdings of SAZKA Group.

According to the agreement, KKCG, owned by investor Karel Komarek, will get the following: full ownership of SAZKA Group, the biggest shareholder position in Greek betting firm OPAP, and the shares it holds in its Czech lottery unit, as well as OPAP, Italy’s LOTTOITALIA and Casinos Austria.

EMMA Capital, the investment group of investor Jiri Smejc, will now own SAZKA’s shares in Croatian sportsbook company SuperSport and financial compensation of several hundred million euros. SAZKA Group had previously announced that it was looking at an initial public offering in London to help fund growth in Europe and both Karel Komarek and Jiri Smejc have confirmed such a move is still on the table.

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