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BOOKMAKER OF THE MONTH

Best Russia betting sites

Population: 145.926.100russia-flag
Active players: 3.200.000
Currency: Russian ruble (RUB)
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse racing, casino games, lottery, bingo
Operator types: Licensed & unlicensed online bookies, land-based betting shops, land-based casinos in 5 special regions
Designated authority: Two self-regulatory organizations of bookies: First SRO and Bookmakers SRO
Status: Semi-regulated

Russia is the largest country in the world, a founding state of the CIS and the leading republic of the USSR from 1922 to 1991. In 1928 all gambling activities were banned in the Russian SFSR. The blanket ban was lifted in 1989, two years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 20 years later though, in 2009, gambling was prohibited almost everywhere in the country. Nowadays, Russians are allowed to gamble only in 5 designated areas. However, both land-based and online betting are legal all across the country. Currently, there are more than 15 licensed betting sites in Russia, including Fonbet and 1xStavka. Nonetheless, bettors are in constant search of more wagering options. Therefore, they also place their bets on popular international bookmakers, such as 888sport and Bet365.

Betting in Russia - 5 things to know

  • The legal age of betting at online bookmakers is 18
  • Land-based & online betting are legal across the country
  • There are 2 self-regulatory organizations for bookies, the First SRO & Bookmakers SRO
  • Players’ winnings are subject to 13% tax when betting on licensed operators
  • Both online casino sites and poker sites are illegal

Best betting sites in Russia

The following shortlist consists of the best Russian betting sites. We selected them since they not only provide the Russian language and accept RUB payments but also offer very high odds, a wide range of betting markets and untaxed winnings.

8.3/10

Players Rating: (14 Rates) 6.3

Bet365
9.1/10
9.1/10

Players Rating: (14 Rates) 8.4

8.3/10

Players Rating: (14 Rates) 6.3

Bet365
9.1/10
9.1/10

Players Rating: (14 Rates) 8.4

Online betting Russia: The gambling law framework

Soon after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, all gambling activities became legal in Russia, including land-based betting. The first act regarding the legality of gambling establishments was enacted in 1998 and that resulted in the opening of hundreds of betting shops and casinos all across the nation. Nevertheless, things began to change in 2006, when Vladimir Putin’s government decided that it was the right time to regulate the local gambling landscape. More specifically, on December 29, 2006, the Federal Law No. 244-FZ was passed and came into effect on January 1, 2007. According to its provisions, all casinos closed as of July 1, 2009, and gambling became legal only in 4 special zones in the Altai, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar and Primorsky regions. Moreover, online casinos were also banned, however betting remained legal throughout the country.

The first steps towards the regulation of online sports betting in Russia were taken on July 21, 2014, when the 2006 Federal Law was amended and the interactive bet system was introduced. Interactive bets can be offered only by bookmakers who meet a number of specific criteria. More specifically, a bookie should have a license issued by the Federal Tax Service, must be a member of a self-regulatory organization of bookmakers (SRO) and be connected to the centralised financial processing system named TSUPIS. SROs were established as the prime entities of regulatory oversight for betting companies in Russia. Nowadays, there are two SROs for betting sites in the country, the First SRO and the Bookmakers SRO. Fonbet along with 1xStavka, Liga Stavok and BetCity are the bookies that currently dominate the market.

Essential information for bettors

The introduction of the interactive bet system in 2014 established a legal basis for online betting in Russia. In 2016 the first Russian sportsbooks who met the criteria that were mentioned above made their appearance and the local authorities began their struggle against illegal operators. As a matter of fact, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, simply known as Roskomnadzor, started blocking international unlicensed betting sites. Nevertheless, the players that access those sites are not prosecuted. On top of that, there are several bettors who actually bet on non-licensed bookies in order to avoid paying the personal income tax. More specifically, according to the Federal Law No. 354-FZ that came into force on January 1, 2018, those who place their bets on legal bookmakers are subject to a 13% tax on their net winnings.

Licensed Russian betting sites

Currently, there are only 19 Russian betting companies that operate legally throughout the country. All the legal bookies have an active license issued by the Federal Tax Service and are members of one of the 2 self-regulatory organizations of bookmakers (SROs). More specifically, the licensees that are under the jurisdiction of the First SRO are Liga Stavok, Winline, 888, BetCity, Parimatch.ru, Tennisi, Bwin.ru, Melbet.ru, 1xStavka and Mostbet. Furthermore, those that are under the Bookmakers SRO are Marathonbet.ru, Fonbet, Leon, Baltbet, Olimp, BingoBoom, Zenit.win, GGbet and Vulkanbet.

Unlicensed bookmakers in Russia

Since only a few bookies are licensed in Russia, it comes as no surprise that there are also others that operate without having a local license. The vast majority of unlicensed sportsbooks are big international brands that accept Russians and manage to operate in the country’s market despite Roskomnadzor’s presence. The most prominent ones are Bet365.ru, 888sport and Pinnacle. Nonetheless, there are also some Russian bookmakers that are very popular around the world and haven’t applied for a domestic license. These are 1xBet.ru and Betwinner. Bear in mind that you can access the aforementioned bookies directly through their .com webpage and if they are blocked through mirror websites.

Bet Russia: How to deposit at online bookies

All the licensed betting sites are linked to the centralized payment gateway for online gambling transactions, simply known as TSUPIS. It is basically an instant banking system designed to process both deposits and withdrawals on legal bookies. Bettors who opt for licensed operators are required to create a TSUPIS account. Each of the two SROs has established a separate TSUPIS system. Thus, the sportsbooks that are under the First SRO operate on the platform of the First TSUPIS, while those that are under the Bookmakers SRO operate on the platform of the TSUPIS ‘Qiwi Bank’.

Nevertheless, players who place their bets on popular international bookmakers are more familiar with e-wallets like Moneta, QIWI, WebMoney and Yandex.Money. All the top betting sites in Russia, such as 1xBet, Bet365 and 888sport accept deposits and withdrawals via QIWI. WebMoney is available on 1xBet Russia, Betwinner and Pinnacle, while those who prefer depositing funds to their account via Yandex.Money can find it on 888sport.

The future of sports betting in Russia

Even if the Russian government believes that the country’s online betting market is well-regulated, the bitter truth is that it isn’t. Due to the fact that all the licensees are heavily taxed, many of them also operate unlicensed brands. The SRO system clearly works in favor of the local bookmakers; since only one international brand, namely Bwin, has been granted a license so far. Players are taxed on their winnings when betting on licensed bookies, so most of them prefer to place their bets on unlicensed operators. Since the top bookmakers in Russia are big international brands that are not licensed; it would be prudent for the authorities to establish a federal gambling regulator and licensing body that will monitor the market and issue licenses to all the major offshore sportsbooks that accept Russian bettors.

Complete list of sport betting sites in Russia

Bookmakers Why to Bet Why to Bet Bookmakers Rating    
1xBet
  • 1.000 live matches daily
  • Asian Handicap
  • 50+ sports
  • 1. 1.000 live matches daily
  • 2. Asian Handicap
  • 3. 50+ sports
1xBet
Review Bet Now
888sport
  • 10.000 live events per month
  • 40+ sports
  • Bet Builder
  • 1. 10.000 live events per month
  • 2. 40+ sports
  • 3. Bet Builder
888sport
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Bet365
  • Ideal for football lovers
  • 150+ extra bets on top leagues
  • Multiple Asian handicap markets
  • 1. Ideal for football lovers
  • 2. 150+ extra bets on top leagues
  • 3. Multiple Asian handicap markets
Bet365
Review Bet Now
Zodiacbet
  • 30+ sports
  • Asian Handicaps
  • Card and Corner bets
  • 1. 30+ sports
  • 2. Asian Handicaps
  • 3. Card and Corner bets
Zodiacbet
Review Bet Now
Cbet
  • Great offers
  • Cashout
  • Multi-View
  • 1. Great offers
  • 2. Cashout
  • 3. Multi-View
Cbet
Review Bet Now
Unikrn Sports
  • 1,000+ events daily
  • More than 25 sports
  • 7+ languages
  • 1. 1,000+ events daily
  • 2. More than 25 sports
  • 3. 7+ languages
Unikrn Sports
Review Bet Now
Betzest
  • 95%+ on the Top-5 leagues/ΝΒΑ
  • 100+ extra bets
  • Lots of outrights
  • 1. 95%+ on the Top-5 leagues/ΝΒΑ
  • 2. 100+ extra bets
  • 3. Lots of outrights
Betzest
Review Bet Now
Sportempire
  • 97%+ on NBA
  • 97%+ on Asian Bets & totals
  • Footy leagues from 65+ countries
  • 1. 97%+ on NBA
  • 2. 97%+ on Asian Bets & totals
  • 3. Footy leagues from 65+ countries
Sportempire
Review Bet Now
b-Bets
  • 30+ alternative handicaps in basketball
  • 150+ pre-game football lines
  • More than 30 live tennis markets
  • 1. 30+ alternative handicaps in basketball
  • 2. 150+ pre-game football lines
  • 3. More than 30 live tennis markets
b-Bets
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Melbet
  • 200+ Live Events daily
  • 95%+ Payout on Live Betting
  • 160+ Alternative in-play bets
  • 1. 200+ Live Events daily
  • 2. 95%+ Payout on Live Betting
  • 3. 160+ Alternative in-play bets
Melbet
Review Bet Now
Bookmakers Why to Bet Why to Bet Bookmakers Rating    
1xBet
  • 1.000 live matches daily
  • Asian Handicap
  • 50+ sports
  • 1. 1.000 live matches daily
  • 2. Asian Handicap
  • 3. 50+ sports
1xBet
Review Bet Now
888sport
  • 10.000 live events per month
  • 40+ sports
  • Bet Builder
  • 1. 10.000 live events per month
  • 2. 40+ sports
  • 3. Bet Builder
888sport
Review Bet Now
Bet365
  • Ideal for football lovers
  • 150+ extra bets on top leagues
  • Multiple Asian handicap markets
  • 1. Ideal for football lovers
  • 2. 150+ extra bets on top leagues
  • 3. Multiple Asian handicap markets
Bet365
Review Bet Now
Zodiacbet
  • 30+ sports
  • Asian Handicaps
  • Card and Corner bets
  • 1. 30+ sports
  • 2. Asian Handicaps
  • 3. Card and Corner bets
Zodiacbet
Review Bet Now
Cbet
  • Great offers
  • Cashout
  • Multi-View
  • 1. Great offers
  • 2. Cashout
  • 3. Multi-View
Cbet
Review Bet Now
Unikrn Sports
  • 1,000+ events daily
  • More than 25 sports
  • 7+ languages
  • 1. 1,000+ events daily
  • 2. More than 25 sports
  • 3. 7+ languages
Unikrn Sports
Review Bet Now
Betzest
  • 95%+ on the Top-5 leagues/ΝΒΑ
  • 100+ extra bets
  • Lots of outrights
  • 1. 95%+ on the Top-5 leagues/ΝΒΑ
  • 2. 100+ extra bets
  • 3. Lots of outrights
Betzest
Review Bet Now
Sportempire
  • 97%+ on NBA
  • 97%+ on Asian Bets & totals
  • Footy leagues from 65+ countries
  • 1. 97%+ on NBA
  • 2. 97%+ on Asian Bets & totals
  • 3. Footy leagues from 65+ countries
Sportempire
Review Bet Now
b-Bets
  • 30+ alternative handicaps in basketball
  • 150+ pre-game football lines
  • More than 30 live tennis markets
  • 1. 30+ alternative handicaps in basketball
  • 2. 150+ pre-game football lines
  • 3. More than 30 live tennis markets
b-Bets
Review Bet Now
Melbet
  • 200+ Live Events daily
  • 95%+ Payout on Live Betting
  • 160+ Alternative in-play bets
  • 1. 200+ Live Events daily
  • 2. 95%+ Payout on Live Betting
  • 3. 160+ Alternative in-play bets
Melbet
Review Bet Now

FAQ
Q: Is online betting legal in Russia?

Yes, online sports betting is absolutely legal in Russia since the establishment of the Federal Law No. 244-FZ on January 1, 2007. Moreover, it is also considered regulated as of July 21, 2014, when the Law was amended and the interactive bet system was officially introduced.

Q: Is there any international bookmaker licensed in Russia?

Among the current licensees that operate in the country, Bwin Russia is the only popular international brand that has a license issued by the Federal Tax Service on March 4, 2016. It operates legally under the jurisdiction of the First SRO.

Q: Are there any offshore bookies that offer the Russian language?

Yes, there are several international bookmakers that accept Russian punters and cater to their needs by offering their websites translated in Russian. Nevertheless, the most popular ones are 888sport, Pinnacle and Evobet.

Q: Are there any international sportsbooks that accept the RUB?

Being able to fund your account by using your local currency when betting online is very important. Therefore, there are many offshore bookies that allow you to make RUB deposits. The most prominent ones though are Vbet.ru, Pinnacle, Campobet and Librabet.

Q: What is the most popular sport in Russia to bet on?

Russia is known for its very cold winters. So, it comes as no surprise that winter sports, such as ice hockey and skiing, are among the most popular sports in Russia for betting. Basketball along with martial arts are also very popular among Russian bettors, however football is the top.

Q: Is Betfair accessible from Russia?

No, it isn’t. More specifically, Betfair Russia has taken the decision to suspend its operations in the country from May 5, 2020. It is worth noting though, that all existing members will be able to withdraw their funds until May 18, 2020.

Q: Is 888.ru the same as 888sport?

No, it is not. 888 ru is a domestic brand which operates under the jurisdiction of the First SRO. On the contrary, 888sport is a popular international sportsbook that accepts local bettors and provides them with a website which is optimized in Russian.

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