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Russia’s telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked nearly 14,500 unauthorized online gambling domains in the month of August, bringing the year-to-date total of blocked domains to over 76k, a 269% rise over the number of blocked domains in all of 2017. Russia prohibits all online gambling except sports betting, and has to date issued 15 online sports betting licenses to Russian firms. According to July website traffic reports, Fonbet continues to lead the pack, reporting 10.1m visits, well ahead of runner-up 1xBet at 8.3m visits, while third-place finisher Liga Stavok was well back at 4.9m. Russian-licensed sites are believed to capture about 60% of domestic online betting action but they face hurdles that their internationally licensed competitors – the ones Roskomnadzor strives so faithfully to sandbag – do not. CUSTOMER REGISTRATION PROCESS HOLDING BOOKIES BACK For example, consider the multi-stage process for signing up with one of Russia’s two official online betting payment channels, known as TSUPIS . Russia’s government has promised to streamline this process , but for the time being it represents a significant disincentive for Russian bettors to wager with locally licensed operators.
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