The fight against gambling in Russia has lasted for more than 10 years. It was in 2006 that the first legislative acts appeared on this topic, and since the summer of 2009 the gambling business was closed everywhere, except for 5 zones allocated for that. Then began an active company to combat online casinos. Finally, on February 21, 2017, Dmitry Medvedev submitted to the State Duma a draft law that prohibits banks and payment systems from transferring and accepting funds for organizers of illegal gambling. After the final and irrevocable sweep of the market, only a few bookmakers will remain on the market, which are allowed to accept bets on the Internet. As a result, the era of monopoly will come on the Russian gaming market: all assets of the gaming business will be controlled by two notable "judoists" - Oleg Zhuravsky and Vasily Anisimov. The first one is the deputy chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Judo Federation of Russia (it is called the "business club of Putin's friends"), and the second is the President of the Federation. Among the leadership of the Federation, you can find brothers Rothenberg.
HAJIME: ALL CASINO UNDERSTAND
When the state did not have the opportunity to turn a blind eye to the damage caused to Russian households by a network of gaming machines and accessible casinos, a decision was made on gaming zones. The gaming business has reached the Internet. The stern hand of the state covered him there. The truth was that those who violated the law were those who appeared to be under the sanctions of the state, but not quite. Roskomnadzor briskly reported on the mass closure of sites related to gambling, but the strict attitude of the department was not spread at all. From under the blow was withdrawn the largest bookmaker office - "League of Rates" - which is owned by Oleg Zhuravsky. One of the co-founders of the business according to various sources is Suleiman Kerimov, the other - Vasily Anisimov. Information about Kerimov Zhuravsky denies, about Anisimova says that he is his friend. And friendship, as you know, is a round-the-clock concept. Especially when friends are many and all are influential.
In 2011, then, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a law banning gambling on the Internet. As punishment, it was envisaged, among other things, imprisonment for up to 6 years, but neither this measure, nor the milder punishment was almost not applied in practice. Then, in 2013, this segment was dealt a really serious blow: the law on the blocking of online casinos and bookmakers began to work. Especially in this law the Federal Tax Service was interested. She started issuing licenses to gambling organizers, but the requirements for obtaining them were such that as a result, single players remained in the market, and the rest went to the informal sector, where the blockade is the most effective and effective way of fighting. Fighting against competitors ...
After the agency allegedly shut down these most violating websites, many of them magically continued to work, attracting new and new players (and in the absence of any regulation, and underage players). Most surprising was the selective approach of Roskomnadzor to which sites to block, and which - not. The "mirrors" of Fonbet BC, 1xBet brand, were blocked. But the brand Liga Stavok was blocked only one mirror. Although the scale of the company is not inferior to competitors. Liga Stavok - has become a typical example of all that against which endless laws were applied against gambling. The office is no worse and no better than other online bookmakers: it cultivates lodomania, allows offshore owners to evade taxes, the domain is available to children. Market participants preferred not to talk about the owners of Liga Stavok, only smiling and showing up, hinting at the company's great connections. And they did the right thing.
The company Akira Invest Corporation, which owns 30% of the company PMBK (operates the brand "League of Bets"), appeared in the statements of OEK-Finance on the transaction with the hotel "Moscow". It mentioned the guarantee agreement dated December 3, 2009: "Akira Invest Corporation" took responsibility for the obligations of "Konk Select Partners INC". In the same account, it was said that OEK-Finance sells 50% of Konk Select Partners INC to Monora Limited. From another document, the judgment of the court of Nicosia, it follows that "Monora Limited" belonged to Suleiman Kerimov.
The starry hour of Zhuravsky-lobbyist came when, after banning the casino, he managed to convince officials that bookmakers should not be driven into gambling zones. "We met with authorities and explained a lot that the bookmaker business is different. It was possible to achieve that the business was allowed throughout the country, "he said.
BOOKMAKERS FOR THE OLYMPIAD IN SOCHI
One of the trump cards of lobbyists of bookmakers was the Olympics in Sochi - they say, the country with such an event can not do without bookmakers. It looked very "socially responsible". Zhuravsky boasted: "We ourselves asked to introduce a tax from each point of acceptance of rates and send it to local budgets. I do not know of another such example when business did something similar. We showed the state that we want to work, work through self-restraint. " The tax on the point of acceptance of rates is about 7000 rubles per month.
The closure of the casino has become a catalyst for the growth of bookmakers. Bookmakers, indeed, always associated only with the sport. My grandmothers did not lose their pensions at the bookmakers. But if you look at the contingent of the average bookmaker office, it turns out that there are few fans among them, most are interested in the rate coefficient. The bookmakers themselves offer quick betting - synthetic products, such as virtual matches or quizzes, which are played out in a few minutes.
Back in 2009, Zhuravsky lobbied for new requirements for a bookmaker license. These requirements were, however, beneficial only for large players. To enter this market, you need to provide the company with net assets worth 1 billion rubles, get a bank guarantee for 500 million rubles and have 100 million rubles of equity. It's more expensive than opening your bank. At the same time, the first 15 licenses were exempted from the guarantee and capital requirements. "This was done purposefully and invited the state to prevent unscrupulous players in such a complex and responsible business," - explained then the initiative Zhuravsky. The problems with the re-registration of the license suddenly arose from the then leader of the branch of the company "Marathon". It actively developed on the Internet and "on the ground" and attracted players with the highest coefficients. The company, which accounted for 50% of the market, was forced to suspend work. Owners (according to SPARK - Leonid and Alla Burye), the license was upheld, but they closed the ground points in Russia and left for England to develop business there, because the Russian market was considered promising and foreign monsters with which it was necessary to compete. But, if you are doing judo in the right place with the right people - you can always think of something. And Zhuravsky came up with.
IPON: NET VICTORY
How was it to ensure the advantage of domestic bookmakers? The State Duma urgently adopted a package of amendments, which once again changed the market. The law introduced the concept of an interactive rate, which could only bookmakers entered into a self-regulating organization (SRO) and paid more than 30 million rubles a fee. Transactions on such rates should go through the "Center for the recording of interactive rates" (ЦУПИС) - a bank or a non-bank credit financial institution.
SRO can be created with at least 10 members. The first of them was headed by Zhuravsky. Part of the bookies, frightened by monopolization, merged into the second SRO, headed by "Bingo-Boom." But on November 13, 2015, its president, Konstantin Makarov, by decision of shareholders (30% owned by the Royal Time Group, a casino manager in gambling zones) left the organization .... A "Bingo-Boom" joined the SRO Zhuravsky. ЦУПИС works on the basis of the non-banking credit organization "Mobile card", one of the founders of which is the First SRO bookmakers. In the list of founders of the monopoly company "Mobile Map" we will find the masters Zhuravsky and Anisimov. The remaining shareholders of the mobile card are people who have been in the game business for a long time. Someone owned a casino. Someone produced slot machines. There are no random people here.
It is said that Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov "covers" the game business in the government. Lobbyists of the new law argue that it will allow to stop the withdrawal of national money abroad, since illegal online offices that work with the help of "mirrors" are most often registered in off-shores. The funny thing is that those who remain on the market - including the "League of Rates" and a number of other bookmakers from the official registry - are also offshore from the British Virgin Islands.
With the adoption of the new law, the Russian gaming market will be finally cleared of competitors and monopolized. And, from the point of view of national judo, this is the highest justice. Someone: Rotenberg - the best contracts, and someone: Zhuravsky and Anisimov - the game market. Judo is an honest fight. Especially for those who are on one side of the tatami.