Betting in Russia

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There are many points of interest in reference to gambling in Russia, both in terms of sportsbook and casino.

Until the 1980’s, all forms of gambling in Russia were strictly prohibited and highly policed, even between small groups of people or friends. After laws and regulations were removed during the aforementioned decade, Russia has moved on to establish a large, popular and profitable betting industry.

It is no surprise that heavy gambling interest is generated in Russia considering that it is the biggest country in the world and has a prominent, proud sporting culture and history.

As the number one sport, football generates the largest amount of sports betting interest amongst Russians, particularly in Moscow which is the home to over a half a dozen famous football teams including Spartak and Lokomotiv. Bets on football can be placed through the national Sports Lottery, a pools-like system which offers jackpot prizes for a series of correct results.

The Russian Sports Lottery has also provided many economic benefits to the country and even helped fund the 1980 Olympic Games which were held in the capital.

Football bets and wagers on other sports can also be placed at one of the many licenced betting shops which trade freely throughout the country.

Russia’s biggest bookmaker is Fonbet, who also operate internationally online. The company is extremely popular with Russian people due to the wide range of betting opportunities it offers as well as the solid reputation it has garnered since being founded in 1994.

Many Russians do opt to use foreign sportsbooks however as they provide backers with an even greater variety of choice and price competition. A lot of offshore online betting firms also offer the Russian language for ease of use.

Although sports betting enjoys a great deal of freedom in Russia both on land and on the internet, casino betting has been regulated and compressed in recent times. In 2006, the Russian government, led by Vladimir Putin, opted to remove casino establishments from the major cities and relocate them to specially designated ‘gambling zones’ including Siberia and European Russia.

The move is thought to have been made in order to protect Russia’s social gambling status and prevent the major cities from being dominated by casino environments.

The upheaval apparently left many businessmen unhappy although the Russian public, on the main, were glad of the changes.

Undoubtedly, Russia has demonstrated to great effect how a positive, healthy and lucrative gambling industry can be quickly attained and how prosperous that can be economically for a country – as well as providing social benefits for the public and in particular sports fans.

Relocation of mass casino’s is also likely to remove any danger of social gambling problems within Russia’s busiest cities and communities, instead placing emphasis on the casinos as a special feature and tourism attraction of their new locations.

Putin apparently insisted that all changes were made to benefit the majority without completely outlawing casino trade.