Sunday January 25 ,2015 : RUSSIA PLANS NEW MOVE AGAINST ILLEGAL GAMBLING OPERATORS
Dedicated payment portal will exclude illegal operators.
The Russian authorities are planning a new weapon in their fight against illegal online gambling – a dedicated payment portal for online sports betting transactions that will provide player access only to authorised operators.
Transactions with non-authorised operators will be blocked through ISP, financial and enforcement initiatives.
In preparation for legalised sports betting in Russia, scheduled to kick off in June this year, a self-regulating Association of Russian Bookmakers was set up last (December) month with the goal of excluding illegal betting websites from the Russian market.
Oleg Zhuravsky, who heads the association, says that includes taking civil action through the courts against unauthorised operators, a process that is already underway with the first lawsuits planned for early 2015.
The litigation is being targeted initially on large, publicly listed operators who are currently providing services illegally to Russian punters, and will if necessary include pursuit through foreign courts.
Zhuravsky's organisation has still to attract the full support of the Russian industry; so far 11 of the 27 companies licensed in Russia to offer sports betting have signed up to the aims and ambitions of the association.
The association will be closely allied with the planned payment portal, the president of the National Association of Bookmakers in Russia, Yuri Fedorov, has confirmed.
He says that channeling all player-operator financial transactions through a single payment portal will make it easier to monitor deposits and withdrawals and deny market access to illegal operators.
The dedicated payment portal will be supported by the cooperation of Russian financial institutions and internet service providers, Fedorov said recently.