Regulatory red tape damps bookies’ World Cup prospects

Russian bookmakers are hoping for a bonanza from the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in the country less than two months from now, but many fear regulatory hurdles and slow-moving legislation will mean that legal operators will lose out. According to Rosturism, the Russian tourism agency, about 1.5 million tourists will flood into the country during the tournament, with many of them likely to seek a flutter. However the current laws do not facilitate bets and may even prove a deterrent. This was one of the concerns voiced at the Betting Trends Forum in Moscow in early April. Amid the ongoing crackdown on illegal online bookmakers, with hundreds if not thousands of websites being blocked on a weekly basis, potential punters need to go to a physical betting shop, or to play with legal online bookmakers. However, to do this they need to go through a complex identification process that...

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