Updated: November 2019

British punters will face issues with betting online while in Russia during World Cup 2018

10 January 2019

We are not far away from the FIFA World Cup which this year will take place in Russia. Many fans of betting and gambling will certainly be looking to the favoured teams during the 2018  FIFA World Cup and, most likely, will want to bet on these teams during individual games as well as to win their groups outright.

So what is the problem, it couldn’t be easier to place a bet from a smartphone or laptop. Something that is possible on any part of the planet. But is Russia an exception to this rule?

Russia, the host of the biggest soccer tournament in the world and a tournament that has generated billions of Euros in betting revenue and taxes over the years for other countries must be rubbing their hands with glee.

However, in practice not everything is so simple, there are some issues with this in Russia. BookmakerAdvisor would like to warn all British fans about complications that can arise and make them prepared for the World Cup.

Let’s begin with the fact that online gambling, like in the large majority of countries, is legal in Russia. But a bookmaker must be licensed in Russia. Since the first legal bookmakers began to operate less than 2 years ago, most of the familiar online bookmakers are illegal in Russia.

What does this mean for you, going to the 2018 World Cup in Russia as a soccer fan who wants to have a bet?

There are 15 licensed bookmakers who operate online as well as offline. The majority of these are local brands, but there are some well known like MarathonBet and Bwin, but in order to bet with them you must register new account. To register with a Russian bookmakers for a foreigner has many pitfalls and is quite problematic, this procedure is available only for residents of the Russian Federation.

All bookmakers which do not have the license are illegal and access to their website (or app) is restricted at the level of the ISP, that is, crossing border of the Russian Federation and having switched to mobile networks of a Russian telecommunications operator, all requests for example for Bet365, William Hill, Betfair or the other usual bookmakers will be automatically blocked. According to The Federal Service of Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media access to all major UK bookmakers are restricted

So, how can you bet online with your favorite bookmaker during World Cup 2018?

There are two options – to bypass blocking of providers by using VPN services or to bet directly at betting shops in Russia.

Use of VPN services, in brief, allows you to virtually replace the country of inquiry and the provider will not be able to restrict access to the bookmaker.

For the personal computers and laptops the simplest option of use of VPN is the Opera browser where you have the opportunity to choose your virtual location.. For other browsers you would require an extension.

The best  known and most reliable and stable VPN’s are: friGate CDN, Hola, Browsec, ZenMate and Windscribe.

Unfortunately, most VPN’s are only available for desktop or laptop and most visitors to Russia will be using some form of mobile device. As alternatives we would suggest one of the following:

TunnelBear (www.tunnelbear.com) – is offered free up to 500 MB of anonymous traffic a month, it is possible to increase this to 1 GB just by simply adding a tweet to your twitter account. For the time you are in Russia during the tournament the 500 MB should be plenty of bandwidth to manage your World Cup betting.

CyberGnost (www.cyberghostvpn.com) – gives a 7 day of trial period, with access to all popular mobile platforms. Even after the 7 day trial, the service will continue to work, it will just have limited functionality in terms of number of available servers and time for connection.

Visiting betting shops in Russia is not really an option for two simple reasons. First, you will need to open an account in betting shop by presenting your passport (translated copy in Russian and certified by notary). Apart from this, the tax on winnings in the Russian Federation for foreigners is 30%. Just not worth it.

But there is good news. We have recently visited Russia in preparation for the World Cup and have physically checked that your betting app will work on roaming.

Of course you should check with your provider to see if they have any special deals on roaming charges in order have access to betting during this years FIFA World Cup.

For sure, make certain to have a back up plan and install one of the VPN solutions we advised.

Good luck with your betting and make sure to share this on facebook and tweet it on your twitter account.