Which bookmakers are trusted and where to place bets in Russia?
As a nation with a long history of gambling dating back centuries, Russia has a storied past with how it views gambling. While the early 20th century saw the country banning all forms of gambling, restrictions were lifted and by 2002, brick and mortar casinos began to blossom before restrictions limited access to four regions.
Why Choose Online Betting in Russia
Considering the limited access and the unfriendly environment in Russia, many have turned to online betting where accessible. Subsequently, Russian punters are faced with ISP challenges but are still able to avail themselves a limited number of online bonuses for Russian customers. Therefore, Russian punters opting to navigate the muddy waters of Russian gambling are free to do so. Considering the many opportunities online betting provides, the rewards easily speak for themselves.
Gambling Facts at a Glance
Russia’s national currency, the ruble, has in one form or another since the 14th century. After becoming the first recognized currency to be decimalized, it was known as the Soviet rule, before its modern-day version, the Russian ruble was introduced following the fall of the Soviet Union.
According to the latest estimates from the U.N, Russia’s population stands at 145,934,462, a number that represents 1.87% of the world’s population. With a median age of 39.6, it is the 9th most populated country in the world.
Resultant of the laws governing online gambling in Russia, determining the percentage of its population that regularly gamble online is difficult to locate. However, it is estimated that the bulk of its estimated $6 billion spent with offshore online gambling sites come from those residing in its two most populous cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg.
While Russia formally outlawed online gambling, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media is responsible for overseeing and enforcing gambling laws within the country. Commonly known as Roskomnadzor, it is responsible for prohibiting Russians from accessing offshore gambling sites by actively blocking ISP’s of offshore gambling operators.
Licensed gambling products
Subsequent to Russia taking an anti-gambling stance and enacting laws prohibiting such activity, there are some exceptions. These are only offered within four designated zones (Altai, Krasnodar, Kaliningrad, and Primorsky) and mainly relate to land-based operations. Within those regions, the following products are permitted on a limited basis:
Types of operators
Similar to the availability of licensed gambling products, the type of operators in Russia are also limited. This is mainly impacted by the illegalizing of online betting and the exclusion of many forms of gambling that are prevalent online. However, based on current Russian gambling law, the following operators are permitted:
Is Online Betting Legal in Russia?
The laws relating to gambling in Russia are quite simple; all forms of gambling outside of four regions is illegal. Unfortunately, this does not apply to online betting as it is banned in its entirety, and therefore punters will face an uphill battle finding accessible betting sites. However, individuals engaging in online betting activities need not be overly concerned about prosecution. Essentially, beyond the country banning gaming site ISP’s, their main objective is to prosecute illegal underground gambling operations.
Are there restrictions on Russian players by some bookmakers?
Due to the restrictive laws relating to online gambling in Russia, Russian punters face an uphill battle dealing with blocked ISP’s. This has led to many finding they are unable to access betting sites without taking alternative steps to navigate around the countries efforts to block ISP’s. Resultantly, registering may be a challenge, although many sites such as 1xBet are relatively easily accessible.
How to Choose the Right Online Betting Site
Considering the circumstances Russian players find themselves in, savvy punters are still able to access a list of online betting sites in Russia. However, with limited availability comes the added burden of knowing how best to choose an online betting site. As such, determination, grit and knowing what to look for eliminates many of the hurdles they face. Therefore, before settling one betting site over the other, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the bookmaker allow Russian players to register, deposit and withdrawal freely?
- Will the bookmaker share my information with the Russian authorities?
- Will I be able to access the site in my native language?
- Does the betting site offer a full range of betting products, and if so, is the platform mobile-friendly?
- Are their odds competitive when compared against other bookmakers, and if so, do they offer multiple betting features such as live streaming?
- Is the bookmaker secure, offer 24 hour support such as live chat?
Leading Online Bookmakers in Russia
Beyond determining the availability of bookmakers open to accepting Russian players, the prevailing question is, which are the top bookmakers in Russia. This can be a challenging question at times, especially under the current climate and until Russian gambling laws are updated. Subsequently, many Russian punters struggle to know where to bet in Russia, and coincidingly, which are the best casinos. However, while it may seem a challenging situation, there are several top-rated bookmakers, such as those noted below, that actively accept Russian punters.
Regarded as one of Russia’s favourite bookmakers, Pin-Up.bet offers a full range of betting platforms from sports to virtual and casino entertainment. Offering a wide range of sports markets for both prematch and in-play betting, punters are treated to a full promotional calendar, competitive odds, live streaming and a unique “Edit Bet” feature.
Known around the world for its connection to Russia, 1xBet delivers Russian players access to over 1000 servers in 50 countries on 6 continents. Along with its appeal in Russia, 1xBet is a global betting partner to millions and features an extensive selection of betting opportunities. Beyond its sportsbook, punters are welcome to absorb the many opportunities offered in its casino, live casino, esports, or any of its other ten plus betting platforms.
A brand built on trust, Betwinner has become infamous among punters wanting a full-bodied betting experience. Established in 2018, it delivers on its promise to provide an unabated betting site full of opportunity. With sports, virtual, bingo, poker, and casino games readily available, discerning punters can avail a wide range of promotional offers. Moreover, with mobile apps and a compatible mobile website, Betwinner makes playing on go a breeze.
Bonuses for Russian Players
Russian friendly sportsbooks understand and appreciate the value that comes from the roughly $6 billion Russians spend annually with offshore betting sites. Therefore, it is not surprising to see bookmakers going above and beyond to attract punters to their brands. The resultant bonuses from those efforts come in many sizes, shapes and forms, and for the Russian punters, the benefits are substantial. Along with the usual combination of welcome offers, Russian friendly bookmakers regularly feature an abundance of betting sites bonus offers for existing player promotions in hopes of retaining their interest. This ranges from guaranteed odds to free bet offers, reload bonuses and enhanced ACCA bonuses, to name a few.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on in Russia
Like many others throughout the world, Russians are passionate about sports and are routinely seen celebrating their sporting successes. Similar to many countries, the sports most popular include football in the number one spot, closely followed by hockey and the biathlon. However, as is evident from the latest sports popularity surveys, Russians also enjoy:
- Mixed martial arts
- Olympic sports
Are Online Casinos Popular in Russia?
To suggest online casinos haven’t a special place in Russian gamblers’ hearts is like comparing apples to oranges. While populating this section with exact statistical information is not possible, the number of competing online casinos is the real indicator. With multiple established online casino operators cemented in the Russian online gambling scene, a steady stream of new betting sites remains a constant. Subsequently, despite Russia banning online casinos, this style of entertainment remains a popular choice for many Russians.
Trivia/Did you know that…
- The first edition of the popular 90’s game Tetris was invented in 1984 by Russian scientist Alexey Pazhitnov.
- With a landmass of 17.13 million kilometres, Russia is ranked as the largest country in the world, of which 60% is covered by forest.
- Located in Russia’s Yakutia region, the town of Oymyakon is the coldest on earth, with an average temperature of 50°C.
- The longest railway in the world is the Trans-Siberian Railroad is the longest in the world. At a length of 9,289 kilometres, it takes seven days to travel from beginning to end.
- Russia’s capital city Moscow is home to the worlds largest medieval fortress. Spanning more than 67 acres, it is surrounded by over 2.5 kilometres of walls and features twenty towers.
Available Mobile Apps
Besides offering excellent mobile betting portals, many of the leading Russian brands feature dedicated sports and casino apps. Similar in nature to any online betting sites, they offer flawless betting options that have been conveniently packaged to deliver player-friendly interfaces and design features. Moreover, they offer punters a wide range of sport types, casino games and other options associated with betting apps.
Supported Payment Methods
Many of the most popular brands in Russia offer a variety of payment methods to allow for the freedom to deposit and withdrawal. While this includes a number of popular online payment methods, the majority catering to Russian punters prefer the privacy afforded via cryptocurrencies. However, other popular options include Faktura.ru, QIWI, Webmoney and Yandex.Money.
Subsequent to Russia being an anti-gambling state, taxation of gambling income is non-existent. Therefore, Russians engaging in gambling activities are not responsible for reporting winnings nor paying tax on profits relating to gambling activities.
Is it safe to place wagers with non-licensed operators?
No, this is never recommended. In fact, it is strongly advised against as it could result in non-payment of winnings. Moreover, it could see the non-licensed bookmaker selling your personal details to those who do not have your best interest at heart.
Will I face prosecution by Russian authorities if caught gambling online?
The worst-case scenario is you may be issued a fine, but incarceration is unlikely.
As a Russian punter, will I experience limitations in the type of promotions I am qualified to receive?
Any promotional limitations experience by Russian punters will be resultant on the promotional terms of the sportsbook or casino in question. To avoid such unpleasantries, speak to support and verify their promotions are available to those residing in Russia.
How can I be certain a bookmaker will pay me my winnings, being that I live in Russia?
It would serve a bookmaker an injustice to not pay your winnings, and over time could dramality impact their reptation with the gaming public. Therefore, by playing with licensed bookmakers, you can be assured your winnings will be paid according to your request.
Which bookmaker is the safest bet for Russian players?
While any that are licensed are safe, 1xBet and Betwinner remain top contenders who have proven themselves a reliable betting partner to Russian punters.
Will I be required to provide proof of identity, and if so, will that info be shared with the Russian government?
Yes, all licensed bookmakers will request proof of identity; this is unavoidable for the most part. As for sharing your information, this will only ever occur if subpoenaed to do so by Russian authorities.
It is safe to use a VPN when accessing a bookmaker?
In many cases, this is frowned upon by a bookmaker, and in some, it is a breach of their terms and conditions. The best solution is to verify this via their terms and conditions before registration.
The environment relating to gambling in Russia is such that on the outside seems straightforward but, at times, can be confusing. The reality is it is illegal to gamble online; the good news is beyond the blocking of ISPDS, few other efforts are made to prevent punters from playing online. Whether the Russian Federation elects to change its position, regulate and begin capitalizing on the lucrative revenue opportunities online betting provides is unknown. For now, it remains somewhat complicated and leaves players to their own accord to navigate the ins and outs. That said, there remains a large number of options for punters with a desire to wager online, regardless of legality issues.