There are 18 gambling groups that are licensed to offer high-street sports betting and internet betting in the Russian Federation. One of the largest and most recognized is First International Bookmakers Company (FIBC), better known by their public brand Liga Stavok. FIBC has just signed an exclusive five-year partnership deal with British e-gaming company Sportingbet.
The deal will see Sportingbet become the exclusive supplier of internet betting services to FIBC. The new deal see the establishment of a jointly operated online sportsbook in Russia under a new brand, “Liga Stavok powered by Sportingbet”.
FBIC has a strong presence throughout Russia, operating 256 Liga Stavok bet shops in 67 cities throughout the country, and is growing at a massive rate, opening an average of 25 new bet shops per month. It is one of the country’s most recognized sports betting brands, and has a strong hold on the Russian sports betting industry. The industry has an estimated annual turnover of $1.8 billion, largely because sports betting is now the only form of gambling allowed everywhere in the country, thanks to changes made last year to Russian gambling laws.
Sportingbet has been in the news this week after merger talks with Unibet fell through. It has since been announced that the talks were in very early stages, and the idea has been abandoned because a press leak led to excessive speculation. Sportingbet chief executive Andy McIver called the breakdown of the talks “very unfortunate”, but he remains positive about the new Russian deal, which he says took years to sort out.