Russia-licensed online sports betting operators have had mixed success since the market formally authorized local bookmakers to take their action online.
Earlier this month, Russian online gambling affiliate Legalbet published the results of a SimilarWeb survey of the 15 locally licensed online bookmakers’ site visitation during the month of April. Topping the traffic chart was 1xstavka.ru (1xbet) at 5.9m million visits, with Fonbet.ru not far behind at 5.6m and Parimatch.ru third with 3.15m.
The Parimatch figure was notable given that its traffic in the months from November 2017 to March 2018 averaged between 600k to 800k, making the April figure around 400% higher than normal. Legalbet attributed at least some of the gains to a Parimatch promotion offering customers the chance to win tickets to the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament.
LigaStavok, the very first recipient of a Russian online betting license in 2016, ranked fourth with 2.35m visits, followed by Winline (2.2m), Betcity (2m) and Leon (1.75m). The numbers drop off dramatically from that point, with 888.ru (no relation to UK operator 888 Holdings) in last place with just 85k visits.
Of the nine online licensees who were active in March 2017, nearly all of them reported triple-digit percentage traffic gains over the past year, with Olimp.bet leading the pack with an astonishing 1,035% improvement (from a low 85k visitors in March 2017 to 420k in April 2018). The woeful 888.ru proved the exception to the rule, reporting 0% year-on-year growth.
Of the six online licensees who launched operations after March 2017, three reported triple-digit traffic growth between November 2017 and this April, while Zenit.win actually reported negative growth (-19%), and hit an all-time low of 90k visits in January 2018.
Bwin.ru, the joint venture of GVC Holdings’ flagship online betting brand Bwin and Russia’s Digital Betting LLC, reported 230k visits in April, a 142% improvement since its official launch in November 2017.
Locally licensed sites can likely expect further traffic boosts, as betting with a non-Russian bookmaker just got a lot tougher. May 25 saw the introduction of tighter restrictions on local financial institutions processing payments between Russian citizens and internationally licensed online gambling sites.
BRAND RECOGNITION SURVEY
In April, audience research firm Mediascope conducted a Russian bookmaker brand recognition survey that found LigaStavok enjoyed 45% recognition among Russians aged 12 to 64 years. Runner-up Fonbet was well back at 24.2%, just ahead of Leon (23.9%), while 1xbet (15.3%) and Bingo-Boom (15.2%) were even further down the list.
Nearly 18% of Mediascope’s respondents reported at least some experience betting with a Russian bookmaker, although just 1.6% admitted to regularly betting. Football remains the most popular betting sport at 14.2%, with hockey in second place at 8.5%.