Russian gaming company First Gaming, which operates under the brand name Rub90, has released a study of the country’s bookmaking industry in 2014.
There were 5,518 land-based bookmaking outlets in Russia in 2014, 354 more than in 2013. However, the 7% growth rate pales in comparison to 2013’s 53% and 2012’s 69%. Seventy of 2014’s new shops opened in the Krasnodar region, while 60 opened in the Moscow region (44 within the city itself). Of the 10 regions studied, only Sverdlovsk and Samara recorded year-on-year declines. (Read full results of the study – in Russian – on Bookmakersrating.ru.)
In terms of market share, Fonbet remains the land-based betting titan with 21.4% of issued bookmaking licenses. Baitbet was a distant second with 14.3%, followed by Bookie Pub (1XBet) at 11.6% and lottery operator Bingo Boom at 10.1% (although Bingo Boom doesn’t offer sports betting). The rest of the chart ran as follows: Euromir (8.9%), Liga Stavok (8.8%) and all others (24.9%).
Fonbet also ruled the online betting market, as its site recorded 2.5m visits per month. Marathonbet.com was next at 2.2m monthly visits with BetCityru.com in third at 1.6m. The rest of the pack finished thusly: 1xbet.com (1.5m), Parimatch.com (1.1m), Zenitbet.com (1m), Baltbet.com (550k), Ligastavok.com (500k), Olimp.kz (350k), WinLineBet.com (250k), with Favbet.com and Tennisi.com each notching around 100k.
The study’s authors say overall betting site traffic fell 11.5% in 2014, a significant turnaround from the 29.3% growth in 2013. The authors blame the decline at least in part on the economic downturn the country took last year following western economic sanctions and the falling price of oil. The authors suggest the downturn could have been even worse were it not for major sporting events like the Sochi Winter Olympics and last summer’s FIFA World Cup.
BetCity experienced the largest decline in visits, falling 31% year-on-year. Fonbet was down 23% and MarathonBet down 13%. Zenith and Tennisi managed to eke out small traffic gains while 1xbet, Olimp.kz (Olympus), Favbet and WinLine posted significant year-on-year improvements.
Russia is in the process of formally regulating its online betting market, with the first official licenses expected to be issued by June of this year. A group known as the First Self-Regulatory Organization of Russian Bookmakers (First SRO) is signing up Russia’s licensed bookies to differentiate themselves from international online bookies, who can expect to face payment- and site-blocking once the new regime is implemented.