FC Barcelona does not plan to drop the online bookmaker 1xBet as one of the club's main sponsors despite the rumoured Russian ties. The sportsbook enjoys a broad member base in multiple countries around the globe however it has a hampered reputation due to troubled customer support and owners engaging in shady business. Moreover, amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, many called for an end to the partnership as part of sanctions in Russian businesses.
The online gaming operator is going through a rough period. It cannot operate in Russia for more than two years, and owners Serguei Karshkov and Román Semiojin have been convicted of fraud by Russian courts. Moreover, it is alleged that they are included in the Interpol list of the most wanted criminals. Adding to the mess, the UKGC recently turned down a license request due to illegal live streaming of sports events.
The Catalan powerhouse, which is not in the best financial shape, denies that 1xBet has any business interest in Russia and emphasizes the company's relocation to Cyprus. The deal, which had 1xBet replacing Betfair, proved to be quite lucrative for Barca, as it gave it a much-needed €9 million boost annually. What remains to be seen, is what happens if another bookie shows up with a better offer for Los Culés.
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1xbet has been around for more than a decade and it is safe to say that it has become one of the most popular and recognisable brands globally. They maintain many betting shops in multiple countries and host 400,000+ active players at a time. What impressed me the most, is the level of localisation. The number of available website languages, payment options, and currencies is through the roof. The site also provides some of the most interesting features online. I found the Advancebet and WiseOdds ones particularly intriguing. Compared to other bookmakers, it offers considerably higher odds and a lot more markets. Nonetheless, it does not come without disadvantages. Due to the sheer number of options and features available, it can prove difficult for a novice bettor. In addition, only holding a Curacao license for the international site is not ideal. Finally, you will probably notice a lot of complaints regarding the bookmaker, but this is understandable due to the massive number of players it hosts. All in all, 1xbet is a top choice, especially for professional players.