Russia wants crack down on online payment providers

Russia’s government is preparing to step up its efforts of restriction against ‘unlicensed’ foreign bookmakers targeting its national consumers.

This week Russian news sources have detailed that Ministry of Finance has drafted a set of new provisions targeting restrictions on banks and online payment processors, with a view of severely limiting the number of paid transactions made to foreign operators.

The ministry’s proposed amendments would seek to further punish any enabler of unlicensed betting services, be it an online payment provider, a national/international bank or a third party betting agent.

Russian news source RBC.ru states that the ministry had presented its recommendation in 2015, however following a review, the provisions were rejected by the Russian government due to concerns regarding the cost of monitoring multiple stakeholders.

Nevertheless, following last year’s tough stance against foreign online bookmakers, the Russian government is set to review the proposition again,  in order to tighten its current national gambling framework against unlicensed operators.

In 2016, the Russian government in conjunction with media regulator Roskomnadzor added new industry regulations which demanded all betting payment transactions to be carried out through centralised payment system  TSUPIS.

Roskomnadzor would move to restrict international payment providers  QIWI and Skrill (Paysafe Group) from offering services. Furthermore, Roskomnadzor would widen its black-listed net by adding media portals and affiliates that promoted unlicensed betting operators.

To date, Russia has only six licensed online betting operators, who have agreed to comply with all Roskomnadzor and government regulations. The Six licensed bookmakers are Liga Stavok, Winline, 888.ru, 1XBet, Leon.ru and new market operator BKfon.ru

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