Gambling news digest February 4-10

The State Duma passed in the first reading two bills important for bookmakers: on increasing deductions and a ban on quick games. Domestic betting companies increased traffic on their sites in January 2023 and helped the Russian Football Union to increase revenues. At the same time Primorye Investor from Hong Kong reported impressive growth of GGR, Sports Lotteries expanded its ticket sales network 57 times, Moscow court ordered Google to return Stoloto application to Google Play platform and Russian authorities are discussing with Abkhazia the possibility of creating a joint cryptocurrency hub – these and other industry news in the February 4-10 digest from Login Casino.

At the moment the organizers of gambling in betting offices pay 1.5% of the quarterly revenue, and the minimum amount of such deductions must be more than 30 million rubles every quarter. Bookmaker deductions support domestic sports: 80% of the money goes to professional sports, 20% – to children’s and youth sports.

The bill, which the State Duma has already passed in the first reading, provides for a gradual increase in bookmaker deductions to 2% in the period from 2025 to 2030, while maintaining the minimum amount of deductions at 30 million rubles. It also envisages a change in the distribution of accumulated funds: 30% will be directed to the development of children’s, youth and mass sports, and 70% – to support high-performance and professional sports.

The State Duma Committee on economic policy has proposed the exclusion of elite sport from the list of sports that will receive funding from bookmaker contributions. According to the Committee members, the bill, adopted in the first reading, does not comply with the instructions of the President. The president’s instruction did not refer to the inclusion of elite sport in the list of supported sports fields. Moreover, the President instructed to increase the share of deductions for children and youth sports. According to the bill, the share of payments to these areas is increased from 20 to 30%, but mass sport is also added to the category, so that children’s and youth sport will receive the same 20%, and an additional 10% will go to fund mass sports areas.

Members of the Committee are sure that despite the adoption of the bill in the first reading, these shortcomings can be eliminated in the preparation of the document for the second reading.

The State Duma passed in the first reading the bill which provides the prohibition of quick games in bookmakers’ offices. In particular, the document specifies the category of gaming equipment and prohibits using such equipment outside of gambling zones. It also prohibits bookmakers to hold gambling games in which event data is converted into combinations, numeric values, symbols or drawings similar to those used in slot machines. Quick games in betting shops fall under this description and, accordingly, will become illegal in case of final adoption of the bill.

Russian betting shops in January 2023 attracted 79.9 million users to their sites. This attendance rate is 4.38% higher than the results of bookmakers in December 2022. The increase in traffic showed 10 betting sites out of 15. The sites of Sportbet have managed to increase the traffic to the maximum by 76%, Melbet – by 54% and Betcity – 51%. Read more statistics here.

According to Minister of Sports Oleg Matytsin, the target contributions of bookmakers had a positive impact on the growth of the revenue component of the Russian Football Union in 2022. The Minister notes that so far the reduction of the RFU income is not expected. On the contrary, according to the Union President Alexander Dyukov, the work of betting shops will help the RFU in 2023 even more to increase the revenue component and reach at least a 20% increase. Recall that at the end of the fourth quarter the RAF was the leader in terms of the amount of betting contributions made to sports.

Bookmaker’s office Fonbet intends to launch a series of its cybersports tournaments, in which teams sponsored by the bookmaker will be able to participate. Told about it Yana Lukomskaya, who heads the department of Influence marketing in the BC. The format of the competition has not yet been disclosed, but it is known that the tournament will take part in cybersports team 2DROTS, which finances Fonbet.

Company NagaCorp, which operates a casino-resort NagaWorld in Cambodia and is a major investor in the gaming zone Primorye in 2022, increased gross gaming revenue to $445.9 million, which is 99.5% more than a year earlier. Revenue growth contributed to the recovery of the gaming sector after the pandemic and the revival of world tourism. In general, if in 2021, the company recorded a loss of $ 47 million, in 2022 the net profit of NagaCorp was $ 107.3 million.

In 2022, the sales network of the National Lottery has expanded from 1.3 thousand to 74 thousand outlets. In fact, the network expanded 57 times. Thus, National Lottery managed to take 20% of the Russian market of tickets for circulation lotteries, which are broadcast on television. Moreover, in November 2022, the company reached a historical maximum in sales of instant lotteries, which in a record month amounted to 1.5 million tickets. According to the company’s general director Yevgeniya Savelieva, in 2023 National Lottery will work to develop online channels and expand opportunities for players.

The Moscow Arbitration Court ordered Google, represented by its U.S., Irish and Russian struktto ensure smooth distribution of the Stoloto application on the Google Play platform. The lottery brand Stoloto filed a corresponding lawsuit back in late 2021. If the company refuses to comply with the court order, it will be required to pay a daily penalty of 100 thousand rubles, and the amount of the daily penalty with each subsequent week will be doubled.

Russia and Abkhazia are discussing the possibility of creating a cryptocurrency hub that would be used for cross-border payments. Alexander Brazhnikov, a representative of the Russian Association of Blockchain and Cryptoindustry, told about it. According to the expert, already in 2023 there will be a blockchain necessary to create and launch a platform for international payments, digital fintechs, non-mutually exchangeable tokens, stabelkoin. As a result, Abkhazia may become a digital mini-Switzerland for Russia and friendly countries. However, developing such an infrastructure in Abkhazia is problematic because many countries do not recognize the jurisdiction. Abkhaz companies could fall under Western sanctions, and local banks would not be able to obtain permission for cryptocurrency payments.

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