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Online Bookmakers in Russia Going Through a Rough Patch
- March 16, 2016 By Nemanja L. -
Russian online sports betting market has experienced all sorts of problems in 2015, with a majority of operators seeing a serious decline in operating profits.
First Gaming gambling company has released a yearly report of the sports betting market in Russia and it is easy to see that leading gaming operators have been struggling to remain competitive of late.
Bookmakersrating.ru has found that there has been a 24.4 percent decrease in visits to online betting websites in 2015, as opposed to the 11.5 percent decline in 2014.
The country’s attempts to block unlicensed gaming operators certainly played a role, but it is believed that the bookmakers’ failure to follow the latest trends in the online gaming industry was the main reason behind poor results.
Mobile Betting Takes Over from Desktop
Namely, while the number of mobile users doubled to 50 million, there has been a 47.1 percent decrease in the number of punters accessing desktop websites, so it is clear this is one area they will need to improve on.
Fonbet, Olympus and Winline were the only three Russian betting sites that saw increase in traffic in 2015, with Marathon and 1xbet both seeing major declines despite staying in second and third place respectively.
Fonbet is the number one bookmaker in Russia when it comes to land-based betting as well, featuring a total of 1,024 shops, with Baltbet second with 812 shops and 1xbet third with 729 betting shops.
The Future of Online Betting Still in Doubt
The leading gaming operators are still waiting to find out whether the reported tenfold increase in gambling taxes will become a reality, with the government still refusing to disclose their plans.
They did confirm that both bookmakers and casino operators will be obliged to submit annual financial statements to the Federal Tax Service and Ministry of Finance.
As a result, the government has established a centralized network that would process all gambling payments, but the service known as TSUPIS has yet to launch.
Russian bookmakers are believed to have struck a secret agreement to prevent foreign operators from utilizing TSUPIS in the first two years of operation as they hope to give domestic companies a head start.