Within the next five years, Russia’s regulated sports betting market is expected to triple its turnover due to new market entrants and significant sports events, according to experts from Bookmakers Ratings.

Current annual turnover of the Russian betting market is approximately $11,75b, of these about 60% account for licensed operators. Annual betting revenue is estimated at $816m, covering 144 million people.

According to experts, the growing interest in the bookmaking is associated with the holding of major sporting events, such as the Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup. New legislative rules authorizing the sponsorship of bookmakers could increase the annual market’s turnover to $ 22.5b by 2022.

Approximately 65% of Russian bettors prefer to deal with unauthorized internationally licensed online operators, and the president of bookmaker Liga Stavok, Yuri Krasovsky, believes that this figure is closer to 80%.

Currently, there are 29 bookmakers, among which only 11 are licensed for online betting. The licensees include Winline, Betcity, 888, Fonbet, Olympus, Pari-Match, BaltBet, Liga Stavok, 1xBet who is a partner of the Slotegrator aggregator, and others.

In addition, the UK operator, GVC Holdings, has entered the domestic market, which, together with the local bookmaker Digital Betting, plans to launch the Russian site for the popular foreign brand bwin by the end of this year.

Experts say that accessing the unauthorized bookmaking resources could become difficult for Russian players if the State Duma passes a bill banning the use of VPN (virtual private networks) and forcing search engines to block access to sites promoting VPN use. The relevant legislative initiative is scheduled for consideration in June.

Methods to bypass Roskomnadzor's site interlock were previously described here.

Let us recall: Earlier, the Russian bwin's executive director, Dmitry Sergeev, said that 1.1 million Russians bet online on a monthly basis.