2018 was a great year for Russian sports betting operators, and they claim that it was because the FIFA World Cup was played so close-by. The largest five operators in Russia managed to double its revenue from the previous year nearly. During early August, Interfax, a Russian news agency released the official figures for the revenue generated during 2018 by the five largest Russian bookmakers and the amount totalled at RUB110 billion, amounting to $1.7 billion when converted to US Dollar. This is an 86 % increase in the RUB59 billion which they generated during the previous year. The figures were collected from the SPARK-Interfax system, a system which gathers information from companies in Russia. Some of the companies had even better individual performances.
- Liga Stavok – Liga Stavok is, without a doubt, the market leader in the industry, and they reported an even more significant increase of more than triple the previous year. The total of their revenue generated amounted to RUB36.1 billion, and their net profit increased more than 30 times to RUB 620.1 million. This increase in profit is also based on other factors, including a change in corporate structure and some market factors.
- Fonbet – The runner up in the industry is Fonbet with two and a half times the revenue of the previous year. Fonbet generated RUB24.1 billion in revenue, and their profit stood at RUB9.3 billion, which was five and a half times the last year’s numbers.
- Bingo Boom – Even though Bingo Boom is standing third in the row with increased revenue, their profits took a drop of two-fifths. For 2018 they generated RUB20.2 billion, and their profit rose to RUB380.6 million
- Betcity – Betcity was the only bookmaker who took a dip in revenue last year, but their profit took an increase of nine and a half times the previous year’s numbers. Their revenue for 2018 stood at RUB17.3 billion, which is 4.2% lower than the last year, but their profit stood at RUB458.4 million.
- Baltbet – Number fifth in the ranks is Baltbet with an increase of 12.5% in revenue with a total of RUB12.2 billion and a net profit of RUB252 million. This is an excellent achievement for them because in 2017 they lost RUB78.3 million in profit.
The Future Might be Less Bright
The future for these companies might seem slightly less shiny. Even though opening an account is extremely easy and effortless, their payment processing might become much more complicated. The Russian government is currently pushing legislation, which is not favourable towards MasterCard or Visa, and these two companies might abandon their operations within the country. The bill came in response to sanctions imposed by the United States government on individual Russian banks. Speculation currently is hence that both Visa and MasterCard would rather wind down their operations in Russia, than being punished for violating the US sanctions against Russia.