Bwin launches online betting platform in Russia

GVC Holdings’ European sportsbook subsidiary Bwin is launching an online betting platform in partnership with local businessman Alexander Mamut, Kommersant reports.

According to the experts, it is the first legal entry by a major international bookmaker into Russia’s newly-emerging online sports betting market amid the ongoing crackdown on internationally licensed gambling websites.

Over 100 Bwin-related domains were blocked earlier on Russian territory.

Mamut-controlled Russian-licensed bookmaker Digital Betting LLC and Rambler & Co, which provides online and mobile advertising services, will facilitate the launch of a Bwin.ru platform, which is due to be put into service in several months’ time. The platform is likely to get plenty of promotion from Rambler Co’s media outlets, including Gazeta.ru and Lenta.ru popular news website and sports publication Championat.com.

The news was confirmed to Kommersant by GVC spokesperson Jay Dossetter and Digital Betting CEO Dmitry Sergeyev, who will fulfil the role of Bwin Russia’s CEO.

The Russian side has pledged to spend up to EUR10 million (US$11.3 million) per annum on the project over the next few years, while Bwin would provide its technological platform and brand, getting a slice of profits in return.

They expect to reach a break-even point in three years, the paper added.

Digital Betting, which received a Russian betting license in 2016, is a member of the First Self-Regulatory Organization of Russian Bookmakers (First SRO). The operator lacks a retail bookmaking presence in Russia, Makarov noted.

According to the president of the First SRO Yuri Krasovsky, there are currently up to 10 bookmakers approved to offer online wagers to Russian gamblers, with 1xbet, Fonbet and Liga Stavok generating most of the traffic.