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NBA & Champions League the Focus of Russian Bettors

- March 1, 2016 By Nemanja L. -

Sports betting sector slowing down in Russia

Football dominates Russian sports betting scene.

Sports betting has been on a minor downtrend in Russia of late, but there have been no major changes with regards to the most popular sports among the country’s punters, with football still leading the way.

Russian gambling company First Gaming recently released a report on the country’s sports betting market in 2015, announcing that football accounted for some 40 percent of all sports wagers last year, which is still lower than 46 percent in 2014.

That probably had something to do with the fact that FIFA World Cup took place in 2014, while there were no major football events held last year.

Basketball came second, accounting for 18.35% of sports wagers, just ahead of tennis at 18.19%, whereas ice hockey and volleyball were tied at 10.13%.

NBA Lead the Way

Oddly enough, it was NBA that ranged first among most bet on sports league, ahead of traditionally popular Continental Hockey League and UEFA Champions League.

The average bet fell from $30.08 to just $15.35 from 2014, but that was another result of both World Cup and Sochi Olympics being held in 2014.

Live betting continues to dominated the Russian betting market as it still accounts for around 80% of all wagers, rising to 96% in late evening and early morning periods, with Russian bettors clearly preferring in-play bets due to faster bet settlement process and increased winning opportunities.

This was not exactly good news for Russian bookmakers at a time when the government is considering increasing current betting taxes ten times, although there has still been no confirmation that proposed changes will be introduced any time soon.

Online Betting in Its Infancy

Last month Russian state agency tasked with monitoring internet activity Roskomnadzor confirmed that plans were underway to regulate online gaming, but it would appear as though they are in the process of thinking up bans rather than opening its doors to remote operators.

Liga Stavok recently launched as the country’s only online betting site, and the situation is expected to remain unchanged in months to come as Roskomnadzor has attempted to block hundreds of online gambling websites last October.

Both companies owning said websites and customers trying to access them by circumventing the bans could face fines of up to a couple of thousand dollars, but at least no prison sentences are being bandied about.

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