Russia’s online bookmakers enjoy post-World Cup traffic gains


russia-online-sports-betting-world-cup-trafficRussia’s online sports betting operators are enjoying a sustained post-World Cup rise in visits to their websites, according to new traffic data.

This week, Russian gambling affiliate Legalbet published the results of a SimilarWeb survey of customer traffic at the nation’s 16 licensed online sports betting operators in the month of October, then compared these figures with a similar survey conducted in May, prior to this summer’s FIFA World Cup.

1xBet topped October’s chart with 9.7m visits for the month, up from 5.75m in May. Fonbet, which topped May’s charts with 5.9m visits, fell to number two in October, although its 8.4m was still up 42% from May. Third-place finisher Liga Stavok was well back with 3.65m, up from 2.6m in May, while the rest of the top-five consisted of WinLine (3.35m, +67%) and BetCity (2.75m, -1.8%).

BetCity wasn’t the only Russian-licensed bookie to suffer a traffic decline since May, as Parimatch was down 43% to 1.2m, Leon fell nearly one-third to 910k and Bingo Boom slipped 37.2% to 270k. The country’s newest licensed bookie, Mostbet, enjoyed the largest percentage traffic gain, rising nearly 60,000% to 1.2m after recording just 2k visits in May (the month it launched)., the first joint venture of a Russian firm with a Western bookmaker (GVC Holdings), enjoyed a 15.4% traffic rise from May, although its October total of 330k visits was better than only four other operators.

In terms of what Russian bettors are doing during these site visits, analysis by Rub90 (First Gaming) shows football capturing 50.4% of wagering stakes in the third quarter of 2018, down three points from Q2, although the Q3 share was still up five to seven points from the average. Tennis shot up 4.5 points to a 15.8% share thanks to US Open action, while basketball fell 1.1 points to 13.6%.

Live betting’s share of overall wagering was up six points from Q2 to 73.5%, while the value of the average individual wager was down 20¢ to $11.10. Basketball netted the highest average wagers with $12.50, followed by football ($11.20) and volleyball ($10.50).

Russia’s average bet size may appear quite modest in comparison with those in more mature Western online betting markets, but there are still those Russians who don’t know when to say when. As a result, Russia’s Ministry of Finance has introduced legislation that would allow problem gamblers to self-exclude from the country’s licensed bookmakers.

On Monday, public discussion commenced on a new draft bill that would allow bettors to limit the money they can wager or ban themselves completely from wagering with any of Russia’s online betting licensees.

Bettors would submit their requests to the country’s two Self-Regulatory Organizations, which would then pass on the information to their individual operator members. Any bettor who has opted for these limits would have to wait one full year before the specifics of their request could be either amended or lifted.