Wednesday March 11,2015 : RUSSIAN ONLINE SPORTSBETTING FEELS THE PINCH
Traffic in 2014 declined 11.5 percent.
Despite the benefits flowing from the Sochi Olympics and the football World Cup last year, Russian online sportsbetting operators suffered an 11.5 percent decline in traffic, a statistic made worse by comparison with 2013, when growth in traffic peaked at 29.3 percent.
A study conducted by First Gaming attributes the decline to a number of unanticipated events that include political and commercial sanctions flowing from Russian foreign adventures, the dramatic decline in the price of oil and a general economic softening in Russia.
Retail sports betting activity fared better than the online sector, showing growth of 7 percent, although this again does not compare well with the double-digit growth achieved in previous years.
The online divisions of major betting companies dominated the online environment, with Fonbet recording an average 2.5 million visits every month – down 23 percent y-o-y, pursued closely by Marathonbet (down 13 percent at 2.2 million) and BetCityru (1.6 million – down 31 percent y-o-y)
Further down the scale at around a million visitors a month were 1xbet, Parimatch and Zenitbet, whilst companies like Baitbet and Ligastavok hosted monthly visitors around the 500,000 mark to make up the top half of the leaders in the market.
InfoPowa readers will recall that moves are reportedly afoot to licence and regulate online betting in Russia, with consequent enforcement measures that may include ISP and financial transaction blocking.