The Russian government continues to enforce stringent measures in order to block its national consumers from accessing unlicensed international betting operator services.
Last week, the government authorised media regulator Roskomnadzor to demand all leading Russian search engines including Yandex, Mail.ru, Ultika and Sputnik to delist and deny access to remote operators deemed to be ‘blacklisted’.
At present, it remains unclear whether Roskomnadzor will ask foreign operated search engines such as Google and Yahoo to follow suit and deny access.
Throughout 2016 and 2017, Roskomnadzor the agency in-charge of monitoring the online gambling sector, has stepped up its policy and restrictions against foreign bookmakers targeting Russian consumers.
This year, the media regulator has placed a ban on all Russian banks and online payment processors from carrying out transactions with foreign IP bookmakers. Furthermore, Roskomnadzor now demands that all online betting payments with licensed operators be carried out using centralised payment system TSUPIS.
The media regulator has further targeted Russian language affiliates and sports media owners, who have promoted sports betting services with steep fines and threats of blocking IPs access by Russian users.
To date, Russia has only seven licensed online betting operators, Liga Stavok, Winline, 888.ru, 1XBet, Leon.ru, Marathonbet and BKfon.ru who have agreed to comply with all Roskomnadzor provisions and government regulations.
The tough measures imposed by the Russian government on online gambling services, has seen a number of European operators such BetVictor and Unibet exit the market.