SBC Digital Summit CIS

Ukraine is CIS market with greatest online potential, say SBC Digital Summit CIS experts

Ukraine is the CIS market that offers the best growth opportunity for online betting and gaming operators, a survey of the expert speakers at this week’s SBC Digital Summit CIS virtual conference and exhibition has found.

The online event on 4 – 5 November will provide an in-depth assessment of the sports betting, casino and poker industries in the CIS, Ukraine and Georgia, with insights from senior executives from the region’s major operators and suppliers. 

Ahead of the event, SBC asked those experts which local market offers the greatest potential for online operators over the next five years? Ukraine’s newly-legalised gambling industry was the clear winner, with 51% of the vote, ahead of the more-developed market in Russia, which polled 20%.

There was some excitement about the likely legalisation of sports betting in Uzbekistan, which attracted 17% of the vote, while 9% of the speakers identified Georgia’s well-established market as still having the best opportunities in the region, and 3% opted for Kazakhstan. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s move to create a regulated gambling market is the topic of the event’s first panel session. Boris Baum (Advisor to the Deputy Head of the President’s office), Ievgeniia Derbal (Chief Legal Officer, Parimatch), Ilya Machavariani (Senior Partner at 4H Agency & Independent Consultant to the Ukrainian Government) and Dr. Ekaterina Hartmann (Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, European Gaming and Betting Association) will analyse what the development means for operators.

Russia’s gambling industry will also be put under the spotlight, with an assessment of the likely future direction of sports betting and igaming in the region’s largest country. The event-closing panel will feature Konstantin Makarov (CEO, Betboom), Asker Thalidzhokov (CEO, BR Labs), Erik Shahbazyan (Founder, Russian Poker Tour), and Vladimir Voloshin (Co-Founder, Ironstar & Rosa Run). 

A further panel will investigate the potential opportunities in Uzbekistan following the government’s indication that it intends to legalise sports betting in 2021, while a session on Georgia will evaluate openings for further growth in the region’s most developed online gambling market. 

Lasha Machavariani, CEO of SBC’s local partner Sports Media Holding, said: “The industry within these markets is buzzing right now. The whole world is watching attentively and following with great interest, as the CIS markets still have major growth potential.”

Away from the market-specific sessions, the agenda includes panels addressing key issues for the development of the betting and gaming industry across the region. Delegates can expect expert insights on topics such as the impact of gambling regulation on the economy, how to operate a gaming brand in a multicultural environment, the most effective marketing strategies, developments in payments technologies, and how to benefit from the booming popularity of esports. 

The speaker line-up includes a host of senior executives from the region’s largest operators, including Dmitry Sergeev (CEO, Parimatch CIS), Irakli Asanishvili (Deputy CEO, adjarabet), Maxim Afanasyev (CPO, Liga Stavok), Luka Kapanadze (CCO, Betlive), Alina Yakirevich (CMO, Fonbet), Aleksey Tserkovnyi (Marketing Director, FavBet), and Veiko Krunberg (Managing Director, OlyBet).

Afanasyev said: “SBC organises the best gaming events, which always have a great set-up, top speakers and the most relevant topics under discussion. If you want to be on the cutting edge of all gaming innovations, you won’t want to miss SBC Digital Summit CIS.” 

The speaker roster also features a host of experts from suppliers, regulators, legal and financial firms, and professional sports. They include Dmitry Starostenkov (CEO, EvenBet Gaming), George Shamugia (CEO, Singular), Nik Rudenko (CEO, 8Lab), Oleksandr Iaroshenko (CEO, Betbazar), Pavol Krasnovsky (CEO, RTSMunity), Giorgi Tavtavadze (Payment Services Director, Liberty Bank), and Georgi Kinkladze (Former Manchester City, Ajax and Georgia midfielder). 

Starostenkov said: “SBC Digital Summit CIS is happening at the right time. Until now, we lacked a place to discuss recent developments in the CIS gaming market, such as Ukraine’s legalisation, Russia’s further regulative movements, and changes in the Republic of Kazakhstan.”

In addition to the conference, the event will feature an interactive product display area with leading suppliers showcasing the latest sportsbook, casino and payments innovations tailored to local markets, together with a variety of networking opportunities to make it straightforward for delegates to connect and talk business. 

Click here to register for a free pass for SBC Digital Summit CIS. 

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