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Bwin rumoured to leave Russia

Sports betting brand Bwin is going to quit from Russia’s online gambling market, as its parent company, A&NN Investments, is looking to unload its licence in the country.

According to news outlets, the operator of the Bwin.ru website has been in talks to offload the operation and sell its licence to an interested party. The licence is held by Digital Betting LLC, which operates online in Russia through a joint venture with UK-listed GVC Holdings.

Local sources are claiming that Digital Betting’s licence may be transferred to a division of payment processing outfit Qiwi, which handles transactions for multiple Russian-licenced bookmakers. However, Qiwi has denied this report.

There are also reports that The Stars Group (TSG) is in the running to acquire Digital Betting’s licence. Earlier this year, TSG CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said the company planned to apply for a Russian betting licence using its PokerStars Sports brand.

The Bwin.ru site launched in Russia two years ago but the business has so far failed to match the Bwin brand’s presence in other international betting markets. SimilarWeb data show Bwin.ru tied for 13th in visitor traffic to Russia’s 19 licenced betting sites in September with just 210k visits (market leader Fonbet.ru had almost 14m visits).

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