Russia to force bookmakers to sponsor sporting events with Russian athletes

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the government to force bookmakers to sponsor sporting events when Russian sportsmen and teams take part, the official Kremlin website said.

The law is expected to be introduced by 1 June 2016.

“The federal bill should envisage establishing duties of organizers of gambling activities in bookmakers’ offices and betting terminals to channel part of the revenues from accepting bets for sports events with the participation of Russian teams and athletes, and for financing the activity of sports entities in the manner determined by the Government of the Russian Federation,” the document said.

At the session of the Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport, which took place on 8 December and where this issue was discussed, Russian Sports Minister Vitaliy Mutko said that betting and bookmakers’ offices had been paying almost nothing to the budget and that they should pay those whom they were cashing in on.

Russian football club Zenit president Aleksandr Dyukov estimated that Russian football could get sponsorship worth 1.5-2 billion roubles per year from bookmakers.

 

According to the Russian Ministry of Communications, as of summer 2015, the value of the Russian betting market was about 150 billion rubles with the net profit standing at about 2.5 billion roubles.