The 2014 Sochi Olympics are more than just winning a couple of medals for Russia, the country’s image is at stake.
Russia and President Putin personally took a huge gamble on Sochi Olympics. The country’s image in the eyes of the whole world and of its very own population was at stake, when the Russia won the hosting rights back in 2007.
And while Putin certainly didn’t gamble with the country’s image at online sportsbooks in Russia, his bet seems to be paying off. Despite the never-ending array of bad press from the Western media about the 2014 Sochi organization, the real situation at the Olympic Games revealed that Russians were indeed ready to host the games at the highest level possible.
Why the image of Russia is boosted by the Olympics
At the end of the first week of the Olympic Games, it has become clear that most of the allegations put forward by the media about the awful state of Sochi Olympic village and facilities are either not true, or only partially true.
Moreover, the readers of Western newspapers and magazines are actually commenting the reporters’ bad-mouthing articles, asking them to stop and return to covering the Games objectively. This is a huge win by the Russians, scoring a lot of image points in the eyes of the whole world.
Of course, hosting a major sporting event like the Olympics guarantees the country extreme attention and publicity. All of the sporting events in Sochi are being covered live offering the whole world a great opportunity to get to know Russia as a welcoming host. And then there’s advertising, merchandise sales, and of course the medals. Russia may not be performing as well as USA, or Norway, or Canada, but each medal won indirectly confirms the fact that the big gamble on Sochi has already been won by President Putin.
What about betting on the Olympic sports?
Sports betting is legal in Russia, in fact it’s one of the very few forms of wagering allowed by the Russian gambling laws. Naturally, the Olympic Games provide a perfect opportunity for punters and fans to combine excitement of betting and winning with watching the events live and cheering for their favorites.
Internet betting sites in Russia, however, are outlawed, but some still manage to operate and accept bets on a semi-legal basis. And of course, there’s a whole array of foreign-based bookies offering their services to Russian punters in both Russian language and some even with Russian currency. However, the operation of these sites is subject to constant monitoring by the authorities, with a view of a total ban.
Russian roulette with Sochi Olympics pays off for President Putin
• Russia is already improving its image thanks to the Olympic Games
• The winners from Olympics include a wide range of business and industries
• Russian gambling laws might also take a turn for more freedom after the Games
The Russian gamble on 2014 Olympic Games have led to quite an unexpected result. Lawmakers are actually talking about altering the gambling regulations once again, allowing more freedom to some forms of gambling. Naturally, this comes as a result of increased wagering at land-based bookies, ultimately resulting in a huge spike in gambling taxes flowing to the state coffers. Maybe gambling isn’t that bad after all, the lawmakers are currently thinking.
Sochi region development accomplished
Another part of Putin’s gamble on the Olympics was the development of the region and its infrastructure. Well, the Games are on, and this only means that the development project has been a success, confirming that Russia is winning its gamble on Sochi.
Everything that was planned to be built has been completed, including all the Olympic sporting facilities, stadiums, Olympic village, as well as housing, infrastructure including roads, rail-roads, airports, and even a huge marina on the sea.
However, President Putin stressed that the development of the region shouldn’t stop and should propel Sochi to become an amazing Black Sea resort and one of the world’s leading sporting center. So that even after the Olympics are over the facilities can be used by many generations to come.
Moreover, some of the Olympic facilities have been built in away allowing them to be dismantled after the Games are over and moved to a different location. This includes both sporting and housing facilities. This way great cost cutting can be achieved, saving money for any other sporting event to be held in the country.
Other winners of the Sochi gamble
Besides Russia there have been other parties winning from Putin’s gamble on the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Although Moody’s rated the Sochi Games as Credit Neutral last week, the ratings might still pick up providing the host country with statistical macroeconomic boost.
However, various investors around the world are already stating that there are certain economic winners emerging as the result of the Games being hosted in Russia. The biggest winners, apart from Russia itself, are the multinational corporate sponsors of the Games such as General Electric and Procter & Gamble.
According to Moody’s the 2014 Sochi Olympics are already rated Credit Positive for the sponsors. It is especially true for telecommunications and media companies. After all they are the ones delivering Olympics to spectators via the internet. The Games can now be watched on PCs, smartphones, on a variety of other device. These possibilities provide telcom and media companies with an opportunity to extend their advertising reach and engagement.
Other winners of Sochi gambling include transportation and forwarding companies, and a wide selection of food and drink retailers as well as non-food sellers offering their services at the Games.
As we can see the Russian roulette, President Putin has played with hosting the Sochi Games, has resulted in a massive win for the country from a variety points of views. This once again proves that you must be bold and gamble big in order to collect big payouts.
Check out the whole series of feature articles dealing with Russia’s big gamble on the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.