Russian punters unlikely to see new registration process before World Cup

Hold up in legislation for sports betting operators

Russian sports betting operators are unlikely to see the introduction of a simplified customer registration process in time for the World Cup. By the time legislation is approved the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which is set to happen on June 14th, will most likely be over.

In March legislators introduced a bill which intended to make the restrictive two-stage account registration process less onerous and more in line with internationally licensed gambling sites. The disadvantage this puts Russian-licensed operators at has long been a major gripe for bookies.

The current registration system means customers need to register online with both a licensed bookmaker and the centralised payment hubs known as TSUPIS. They then must take a trip to a land-based betting shop, documentation in tow - in order to confirm their indentity in person. For persons living in areas where retail locations are few and far between this is a particularly frustrating barrier.

The new bill plans to empower TSUPIS to authenticate the bettors identity – allowing them to issue approval for the bettor to open an online account where they can wager.

The bill also mentions reigning in advertising rules – meaning bookmakers will need to strike formal deals when dealing with sports bodies in order for them to use the events’ logos or names. Bookmakers will also be required to begin operations within a year of receiving their license. Suspending their license for a full year would result in their license being revoked.

The Committee for Economic Policy, Industry, Innovation Development and Entrepreneurship has listed May 10th as the deadline for feedback on the proposed bill. On Monday, the Committee announced that it hoped to present the bill to the State Duma for consideration by the ‘spring session’ scheduled for June.


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