Legal Betting Companies in Russia: What Are They?
The law regulates the operation of betting companies in the Russian Federation. Legal market players pay taxes and comply with the rules of paying winnings to players. However, local authorities do not supervise betting industry reps that hold licenses of other jurisdictions. Therefore, regulators block such websites. What is the difference between legal and offshore bookmakers and what companies accept bets within the scope of the law – find further in the article.
Important! The material is of informational and analytical nature and does not summon readers to become customers of betting companies.
Legal and offshore betting companies: what is the difference?
Today there are legal and offshore betting companies in the market. The first ones hold the Russian online betting license and adhere to all requirements set to conduct the activity. They pay state taxes, officially employ staff, submit reports, open accounts at Russian banks, work with sports federations and leagues, etc. Their operations are legal on the territory of the Russian Federation.
Betting companies that work illegally usually hold licenses of offshore areas – in Malta, Gibraltar, Costa Rica, Curacao, and other jurisdictions. For this reason, they are called offshore. Organizations that obtain such licenses orient towards the global market rather than one country.
The online operation of offshore bookmakers is forbidden and considered illegal in Russia. These websites are blocked and their organizers may be subject to criminal or administrative actions.
The Russian Federation started to restrict access to such websites in 2016. Within six months, Roskomnadzor blocked over 20,000 betting-themed websites and betting operators. Besides, websites that advertised betting fell under regulations.
How do legal betting companies work in Russia?
To be able to accept bets legally in Russia, the bookmaker has to abide by the following requirements:
- to obtain a license from the Federal Tax Service;
- own at least 100million RUB of registered capital;
- cost of net assets has to be no less than 1 billion RUB;
- the betting company has to hold a bank guarantee equal to no less than 500 million RUB;
- to be a member of one of the self-regulating organizations (SRO). Today there are two of them: the First SRO of Russian Bookmakers and the Bookmakers SRO.
Each SRO can act as a founder (a participant) of just one Interactive bets accounting center (IBAC), which is a lending institution working in compliance with the Federal law “About banks and bank activities”. The institution is intended to protect the interests of bettors and control the activity of bookmakers. The IBAC acts as an intermediary between gamblers and betting offices. Financial operations go through the IBAC. Besides, the IBAC checks player identity. Today each of the current self-regulating organizations owns such an institution.
Interactive bets and land-based betting shops
In Russia, bets are accepted at land-based betting offices and online.
According to the Federal Law “About state regulation of activities on organization and conduct of gambling and about the introduction of amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation”, an interactive bet is money including electronic funds that the IBAC transfers to the betting office on behalf of gamblers using electronic payment methods.
Players can also place bets at land-based betting shops, a detached area of the gambling facility, where the bookmaker accepts bets from players.
Legal bookmakers in Russia
According to the Bookmaker Ratings, today 17 betting companies operate legally in Russia. They are 1xstavka, Liga Stavok, Winline, Marathon Bet, Parimatch.ru, Fonbet, BetCity, 888.ru, Mostbet.ru, Leon, Olimp, BingoBoom, Melbet, Tennisi, bwin.ru, Baltbet, and Zenit.
- 1xstavka, founded in 2010. Today the operator offers a wide betting line including betting on esports and non-sports events.
- Liga Stavok, licensed in 2009. The bookmaker offers bets on different sports, political, cultural events.
- Winline, founded in 2009.The bookmakeroffers odds on different sports.
- Marathon Bet, established in 1997. The company received the license from the Russian Tax Service in 2010. The line includes bets on sports, politics, cinema, TV shows, and award ceremonies.
- Parimatch, founded in 1994. The line represents different sports including esports tournaments and events from the world of politics and show business.
- Fonbet, set up back in 1994. The company accepts bets on sports events in Russia and around the world.
- BetCity, licensed in 2009. The company offers to bet on sports, political, and cultural events.
- 888.ru is an online project of FavBet LLC that was licensed in 2009. It offers players to place bets on events in sports, politics, esports, and show business.
- Mostbet. The domain name Mostbet.rubelongs to SportBet. Licensed in 2009, the company accepts bets on different sports events.
- Leon, licensed in 2011. The bookmaker offers odds on popular sports and events in show business and politics.
- Olimp, licensed in 2012. The company provides betting on sports, cultural, and other events.
- BingoBoom, licensed in 2010. The line includes bets on sports events held in Russia and globally.
- Melbet, licensed in 2012. The bookmaker accepts bets on different sports, cultural, and other events.
- Tennisi, licensedin2009. The company offers odds on several sports and other events.
- bwin.ru started operations in Vienna in 1997, was licensed in Russia in 2016. The bookmaker offers betting on more than 90 sports as well as events in the world of cinema, music, and show business.
- Baltbet, founded in 2003. The betting line embraces different sports including esports, as well as events in the fields of politics and culture.
- Zenit, licensed in 2010. The betting line includes events in the world of sports, music, cinema, and politics.