The sports betting operator Bwin decided to shut down its Russian licensed website Bwin.ru and migrate players’ accounts to Parimatch. The sportsbook went offline for maintenance over the past weekend. Afterwards they announced the official and permanent closure of the Russian website.
The cause behind the closure are the “rapidly changing realities and new legislative initiatives” in Russia.
The decision to leave the Russian market was not easy, because over the past year we managed to assemble an excellent team and achieve good growth dynamics in all respects. However, due to changes in the regulation of the betting industry, it has become almost impossible to fulfil our obligations.Yuri Kurylenko, CMO, bwin
As of September 2021 Russia will implement 5% quarterly sports betting tax. It will be applicable to gross gambling revenue. Previously, this tax applied only for sports betting on Russian events. Now, it will expand to non-Russian sporting events as well, which means that the bookies should contribute to Russian sports federations.
These changes are part of a bill, signed by President Putin at the end of last year. The document also poses limits on the types of events accepting wagers, and prohibits the use of the same license for sports betting and tote betting.
Bwin.ru accounts migrate to Parimatch
Bwin became the first western betting brand to launch in Russia in November 2017. Bwin’s operations in Russia were run by Digital Betting. Currently, Parimatch is the owner of Digital Betting and it will also accept all player’s accounts from Bwin.ru. All accounts and players’ funds will migrate from Bwin to Parimatch. Moreover, Parimatch will also offer former Bwin customers a bonus offer as part of the transfer.
Will Bet365 acquire a Russian license?
Meanwhile, the online betting giant Bet365 had registered the Bet365.ru domain with a local web registry. Bet365’s Russian license is reportedly awaiting final approval from the Federal Tax Service.
At the same time, Russia’s telecom watchdog Romskomnadzor continued to add Bet365-affiliated domains to its online gambling blacklist.