Where is sports betting particularly popular?

Publication date: 01 Feb 2023

Betting has been going from strength to strength all over the world in 2022. Especially at the end of the year when the FIFA World Cup was taking place! The number of players and bets skyrocketed, profits set all sorts of records. Let’s take a look at how bookmakers met the beginning of 2023.

Russian bookmakers: even more money!

In 2022, bookmakers operating in Russia earned 879.3 billion roubles. At the same time, the online sector accounted for 92% of revenues.  The top 3 bookmakers with the biggest revenues include Fonbet, Winline and 1xStavka. such data is contained in the annual report of the Unified Gambling Regulator. 

In 2022, the number of sports organizations receiving contributions from betting shops in Russia has increased to 121. As deductions, sports leagues and federations in Russia received 13.8 billion roubles, 20% of which was allocated to the development of children’s and youth sports. Table tennis and tennis federations of the Russian Federation received the most money, with the Ice Hockey Federation in third place.

It is planned that bookmakers will transfer 1.5 times as much money by 2024. A new bill being drafted by related bodies suggests raising the minimum betting contribution from 30 million to 45 million roubles. 

Where sports betting is popular: sites and cities

In January 2023, betting company BetBoom analyzed the data of online users and created a map showing the popularity of betting in different regions of Russia. The top 5 most popular regions for betting are Krasnodar, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa and Penza.  Meanwhile, Nalchik, Khanty-Mansiysk, Birobidzhan, Gorno-Altaysk and Abakan turned out to be the cities, where sports betting is least demanded.  “Betting is not especially popular in regions where there are no high-level professional sports teams,” clarified the BC.

In December 2023, Russian bookmaker sites received 20.77% more traffic than in November.  The sites of betting company Fonbet (+76.73%), Winline (+8.63%) and Liga Stavok (+2.13%) gained the most audience.

Bookmakers’ news: fines for inactive players and withdrawal from unregulated markets

International gambling holding company Entain, which owns bookmakers bwin, Ladbrokes, Sportingbet, Betboo and Gamebookers, has announced plans to leave unregulated global markets. The company said it “no longer sees a path to domestic regulation” and is prepared to operate “exclusively in markets with domestic licensing”.  It is planned that by the end of 2023, Entain will generate all of its revenue exclusively from regulated markets.

Bookmaker Bet365 has lost the top spot in the ranking of the UK’s biggest taxpayers. The company had been the leader in payouts for three consecutive years. In 2022, the Coates family (owners of the company) paid £460.2 million into the budget and found themselves in second place.

Whereas the biggest UK taxpayer in 2022 was Alexander Gerko, PhD in maths and founder of trading company XTX Markets.  He was born in Russia, but has had British citizenship since 2016. The amount of tax he paid last year was £486m.

From 31 January 2023, the online poker room PokerStars introduced new rules: if a player has not logged into his account and has not made any transactions for more than 13 months, he will receive the status of “inactive”. If the balance is positive, €5 will be deducted from each inactive account each month. When the balance reaches zero, the account will be closed.

In 2022, sports betting operator BetMGM generated $1.44 billion in net profit.

BetMGM is a legal US bookmaker created by Entain holding company and US hotel operator MGM Resorts International. The bookmaker is scheduled to receive $150 million in additional investment in 2023, with a net profit of $1.8 billion to $2 billion based on 2023 results.


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