On February 9, in the first reading the National Assembly adopted a bill allowing the government to increase the amount of deductions it takes from the sports betting operators’ revenues (up to 2% by 2030) towards funding the development of children’s, youth and mass sports in the country.
The Vedomosti Sport publication asked the heads of several gambling companies in Russia for their opinion on the government’s decision to increase the deductions.
Sergey Anokhin, CEO at Fonbet, considers the issue of supporting domestic sports very important and welcomes the initiative to increase the share of donations to support children’s and youth sports. Anokhin, however, sees that increasing the deductions to 2% may drive small and medium-sized operators to the brink of survival.
The need to compensate for the increase in the amount of deductions potentially affects the odds that many players would perceive as disadvantageous. As a result, the risk of an outflow of players to offshore bookmakers offering more attractive odds and payouts becomes all too real.
Yuri Krasovsky, president of Liga Stavok, whose company was among the initiators of the deduction implementation, stressed that the increase was quite logical from the government’s point of view. However, Krasovsky would like to see a broader representation of all stakeholders in the process of discussing future changes.
Konstantin Makarov, CEO at Betboom, expects the bill to be substantially amended before the second reading and believes it is currently unrealistic to assess the impact of the increase in deductions on this basis.
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