Russia’s bookmakers are looking forward to a bonanza from the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but would like to see regulations eased, in particular with regard to online bets from foreign visitors, to enable them to take full advantage. Sports betting has seen a surge in volumes during recent soccer tournaments and record numbers are expected this time around for the event, which will be held in Russia.
Russian gambling industry executives have lambasted a Finance Ministry proposal to raise gaming taxes, saying that such an initiative would "destroy the gambling business." To date, one of Russia's key draws for foreign investors has been its low taxation rate. If taxes rise tenfold as proposed, the industry will come to a standstill, participants say.
Russia’s latest decree on the online gambling market failed to provide the clear regulatory framework to legalize online sports betting that many in the industry had hoped for and left more questions than answers. Participants at the recent Russian Gaming Week give their views on whether the latest decree legalizes Internet sports betting or not.