Russia wagering falls as ruble declines

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Russia‘s sports bettors dramatically reduced the size of their average wagers in Q1 due to the sharp decline in value of the ruble.

According to statistics compiled by Russian bookmaker Rub90, the average bet over the first three months of 2016 was worth $11.39, down $4.13 from Q4 2015. The decline reflects the ruble’s January plunge to a record low thanks to the falling price of oil, Russia’s main export.

Basketball attracted the largest average wagers at $14.57, followed by hockey ($13.51), football ($12.29), handball ($10.02) and volleyball ($9.17). Football’s fall was fairly spectacular, as the sport attracted average wagers of $19.27 in Q4 2015.

Football managed to hold on to its top ranking in terms of the percentage of overall sports wagering, although it’s 32.3% share was seven points lower than in Q4. By contrast, basketball gained 6.5 points to 19.7% and hockey rose three points to 17.5%. Tennis held on to fourth place with 14.7% while volleyball claimed 12%.

Russian bettors’ preference for in-play over pre-match betting showed no signs of letting up, as in-play accounted for three-quarters of all wagers place during Q1.

Interest in in-play betting increases with the lateness of the hour, as it accounts for between 68-78% of all wagers between 9am and 11pm, but this figure soars as high as 94% during the wee hours (possibly reflecting the time difference between Russia and other sporting jurisdictions, particularly North America, the source of NHL and NBA activity).

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