Russia Simplifies Sports Betting Registration Process
The Russian sportsbook market stands to receive a welcome boon, as the government is set to amend regulations related to account registration processes
New legislation has been drafted within Russia ’s Ministry of Finance. It provides for the elimination of one of the more unwieldy requirements currently in place. Should this come into force, users of online betting services would no longer be required register with a centralized payment hub online, and subsequently provide confirmation by presenting proof of identity at bookmakers’ retail partners or at land-based betting shops.
This development follows an earlier meeting between representatives of the Russian government and Russia’s fourteen officially licensed online bookmakers, where the current registration regulations were singled out as problematic.
According to the bookmakers, besides offering a serious barrier to their non-urban clientele – which would be poorly serviced by betting shops and other retail operations necessary for the second step of registration – the same process is significantly less complicated at the many internationally licensed online gambling sites that already have Russian customers.
The bookmakers’ sense of urgency on this issue is tied to this year’s FIFA World Cup, to be hosted by Russia, which promises a very significant uptick in football betting. Operators are very keen to make bank when this surge occurs, and are encouraging the government to act quickly to resolve the regulatory situation.
The recently drafted legislation states that a Russian-licensed online bookmaker “has the right to entrust … the identification of a gambling participant to the center for the recording of online betting of bookmakers or sweepstakes, operating in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Law of December 29 2006 No. 244-FZ.”
Russia introduced new banking laws in December that allow customers to submit biometric data to facilitate online transactions. However, this move was met with a measure of scepticism. Some Russian betting industry sources dismissed the prospect of an influx of new online bettors as a consequence of this new utility.
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