Putin Gives Bookmakers A Lot To Think About With New Regulations

Published January 7, 2021 by Sol FH

Putin Gives Bookmakers A Lot To Think About With New Regulations

Russian President Vladimir Putin signs-off on new legislation that calls for an overhaul of the Russian sports betting market.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially signed legislation that calls for a major overhaul of Russia's online sports betting industry. The new legislation includes much stricter oversight for the entire internet in Russia, including the approval of the Roskomnadzor telecom watchdog to scan traffic that would be considered ‘discriminating’ against Russian media. This includes the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The new laws will also include biometric authentication from customers seeking to use financial and public services. 

In this unprecedented move, Russian-based bookmakers will need to answer to a Unified Gambling Regulator instead of the two organizations that used to represent the local operators. 

Payment processing for online betting will also now be processed through a single centralized payment processing center, for all payments. Until now, two rival payment hubs were authorized to provide such services. 

Putin has not yet declared the identity of the payment processor, but, they will have all access to all data dealing with financial transactions for sports betting. 

The legislation has also made very clear that punters will need to pay 1.5% of the total value of each individual wager, even for non-Russian sports events or teams. The tax is said to be going towards Russian sports, although local bookmakers are skeptical that the funds will go to their intended sources. 

The new laws will take effect in 270-days from the date of his signature giving bookmakers the time and opportunity to think about and plan for the new regulations. 

Russia's sports betting market is growing but there are questions surrounding the reasons for these changes and the speed at which they were made. 

It will be more difficult for bookmakers to navigate these new waters but the market is strong and there is a lot of opportunities left for growth. 


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