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Russia – Opportunities growing in Russia for sports betting

By - 2 May 2017

An amended sports betting bill came into effect at the start of April in Russia and with the Russian FIFA World Cup arriving next year, the impact for the sports betting sector will be huge.

A new bill, which affects advertising of gambling/gaming activities in Russia, and sports partnerships in particular, offer new opportunities for bookmakers and at the same time make life easier for them.
Daily Fantasy Sports (and mainly Daily Fantasy Football) should also benefit strongly from the opening and the effect of the World Cup.

Valery Bollier, CEO of Daily Fantasy Football B2B provider OulalaGames, recently spoke at the Betting Trends Forum in Moscow.

He said: ”Local operators are hungry for success. Their knowledge of our sector is impressive, and they are highly open to new trends and new products. But is DFS known as ‘Fentazi Sport’ in the country actually legal in Russia? I asked this question to Mariya Lepshikova, a Russian lawyer with great expertise in the iGaming sector. Her answer was highly technical but explained in simple terms: DFS is not considered as sports betting so we do not need a licence to run a DFS game. Nonetheless, local DFS operators will need to adapt the structure of their DFS game so they become what is considered by the civil code of the Russian Federation as a public competition. Russian operators are seeing the iGaming market with fresh eyes, and are therefore far more lucid than most ‘Western operators’ when it comes to the market’s reality. While we are sticking to our old business models; they are ready to adapt to new ones because they are much less attached to traditional games. They are willing to offer what the market is expecting, and it’s obvious that their pragmatism will pay.”

Mr. Bollier thinks that the Russian operators are increasingly becoming familiar with the concept of DFS and understand the benefits of partnerships with DFS providers: ”This is of course something very positive for Oulala, namely because we are continuing to successfully deploy our DFS network across the world. More generally, this is also great news for the young European DFS sector, because it is widening its development perspectives.”

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