Gibraltar-based independent bookmaker BetVictor has officially announced its departure from the Russian gambling market. Last week, the company sent players notice of terminating to accept bets from Russia, and also offered users from the Russian Federation to withdraw money left on accounts.
According to BetVictor, the main reason for the withdrawal from the Russian market is conditions tightening for foreign gambling operators.
Let’s remind, last week the Russian government approved a bill prohibiting banks and payment systems to transfer money to Russian customers on accounts of offshore gaming companies. banks and payment systems are expected to have access to the list of illegal gambling sites whose details will not be available for transfering funds to residents of the Russian Federation. The change will not affect the official Russian lotteries and several betting companies that have licenses to work in Russia.
For 2016, the Russian Media regulator Roskomnadzor has blocked the websites of major European gambling operators, accusing the latter in violation of Russian gambling laws. IP addresses of the sites Unibet, Bwin, Triobet, Favbet and a number of other operators are among the blocked ones.
Online gambling was prohibited by Federal law in 2006. Since 2014, Roskomnadzor has added illegal online casinos in the list of prohibited websites. However, in practice the online casinos continue operating as most of them are registered in offshore jurisdictions. Analysts believe that shadow turnover on Russia’s online and mobile gambling market may be estimated as at least $3 billion.