Calcio e Finanza

Betting market, new rules in Russia

Steffen Schmidt / Insidefoto

Valery Bollier is optimistic about the future of DFS in the world’s largest country.

In many countries, the 1st of April is All Fools’ day. However, in Russia, it was the day when the amended sports betting bill came into effect.

Valery Bollier, CEO of Daily Fantasy Football B2B provider OulalaGames, recently visited Moscow where he spoke at the Betting Trends Forum, which turned out to be a success.

He came back amazed by the world of possibilities open to various stakeholders in the sector. ”Local operators are hungry for success,” said Bollier after the event. ”Their knowledge of our sector is impressive, and they are highly open to new trends and new products.” A new bill, which affects advertising of gambling/gaming activities in Russia, and sports partnerships, in particular, offer new opportunities for bookmakers and at the same time make life easier for them.

With the Russian FIFA World Cup arriving next year, it’s quite easy to predict that the impact on the sports betting sector will be huge. According to Bollier, one should definitely attend the next conference (Russian Gaming Week in Moscow on the 7th of June) if the Russian market is the aim.

Daily Fantasy Sports (and mainly Daily Fantasy Football) should also benefit strongly from the opening and the effect of the World Cup. But is DFS actually legal in Russia? ‘‘I asked this question to Mariya Lepshikova, a Russian lawyer with great expertise in the iGaming sector,’‘ revealed Oulala’s CEO. ”Her answer was highly technical but explained in simple terms: DFS is not considered as sports betting so we do not need a license to run a DFS game. Nonetheless, local DFS operators will need to adapt the structure of their DFS game so they become what is considered by the civil code of the Russian Federation as a ”public competition.

Anyone interested in knowing more about the subject can contact Bollier, but the crucial fact to remember is that ‘Fentazi Sport’ (as they call it in Russia) can be offered and that it will grow quickly.

Why is this the case? Simply because Russian operators are seeing the iGaming market with fresh eyes, and are therefore far more lucid than most ”Western operators” when it comes to the market’s reality: ”While we are sticking to our old business models; they are ready to adapt to new ones because they are much less attached to traditional games. They are willing to offer what the market is expecting, and it’s obvious that their pragmatism will pay!

Bollier thinks that the Russian operators are increasingly becoming familiar with the concept of DFS and understand the benefits of partnerships with DFS providers: ”This is, of course, something very positive for Oulala, namely because we are continuing to successfully deploy our DFS network across the world. More generally, this is also great news for the young European DFS sector, because it is widening its development perspectives.