Liga Stavok

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Liga Stavok
Founded2008; 11 years ago (2008)
FounderOleg Zhuravsky, Yuri Krasovsky
Location
Area served
Russia
Websiteligastavok.ru

The Liga Stavok (Russian: Ли́га Ста́вок) is one of the leading Russian gambling companies. It was established in Russia in 2008. Activities of this betting company are aimed at developing betting business in Russia, supporting national sports, and creating new spheres of entertainment.

History[edit]

The history of “Liga Stavok” is closely connected with the name of its founder Oleg Zhuravsky, a significant Russian lobbyist of bookmaker business interests. Zhuravsky was born in 1969, served in the Western Group of Forces in the GDR from 1988-1990, and graduated from the Ugra State University in 1991. Later, in 2010, he also earned a degree from the St. Petersburg Institute of International Trade, Economics and Law. He took a great interest in the bookmaking business in Europe during the 1990s. Since 1997, Zhuravsky held leading positions in companies of the Russian gambling industry. In the mid-2000s, he founded the National Association of Russian Bookmakers and started lobbying the interests and development of this sphere. Under his leadership, the Association has united more than half of the largest actors in the Russian market.[1] From 2007-2008, Zhuravsky together with his business partner Yuri Krasovsky established the “First International Bookmaker Company” which developed its activities under the brand “Liga Stavok”.[2][3] After Zhuravsky's death, the media emphasized his decisive role in the progress of the Russian betting industry. As a result of the activists’ efforts, Russian bookmakers were exempted from the law “On state regulations of activities on organizing and conducting gambling.” This law was drafted in 2006-2009 and was aimed at limiting gambling companies’ activities to special zones.[4]

Against match-fixing[edit]

Since 2010, the “Liga Stavok” began to cooperate with the Russian Premier League (RPL) to counteract football match fixing and corruption in sport.[5] Oleg Zhuravsky was appointed adviser to the President of the Premier League on the prevention of match-fixing. His company started monitoring and controlling the pre-match betting markets on the RPL matches in order to detect collusion between participating teams.[3][6][7] In 2013, Zhuravsky promoted the adoption of a law that increased the penalty for participation in match-fixing. Sports federations were obligated to take measures to combat match-fixing and to inform authorities about the unlawful effect of such competitions. For violation of these rules, state accreditation could be withdrawn. According to the law, bookmakers were required to accept bets only upon the presentation of identity documents, to keep records of gambling participants, as well as to inform the taxation organizations and sports federations of the payouts or payable winnings according to the results of wagers on matches which ended with the least probable outcome.[8][9][10][11]

Interactive bets[edit]

Oleg Zhuravsky proposed amendments to federal law No. 244-ФЗ "On state regulation of activities for organizing and conducting gambling,” which came into effect in 2014. Legislative innovations obliged bookmakers and organizers of parimutuel betting to join self-regulatory organizations (SRO), and introduced the notions of "interactive bets" and "the Сenter for taking interactive bets" (Russian: «Центр учёта приёма интерактивных ставок», ЦУПИС) through which bookmakers could be legalized via the Internet.[12][13] At the end of 2014, a number of large bookmakers, including the “Liga Stavok,” Winline, "1×Stavka" and 888.ru, united into the "First Self-Regulatory Organization" headed by Zhuravsky. Improvement of the legal framework for online bookmaking took another year, and in February 2016 the first “Center” (ЦУПИС) was launched by the “First SRO” on the platform of the non-banking credit organization “Mobil’naya karta”.[14][15] The "Liga Stavok" was the first Russian bookmaker company, which was integrated with the “First Сenter for Taking Interactive Bets” and began to receive bets online. To make an interactive bet, customers had to go online to register at the “Liga Stavok” website, then on the “Center’s” website, and, finally, confirm their identity by visiting the bookmaker's club or an office of its partner.[16] In November 2016, the “Liga Stavok” was awarded the Runet Prize as the best online service offering sports entertainment.[3][17][18]

Cooperation with sports associations[edit]

On April 1, 2017, the federal law "On Introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in Formation of Mechanisms for Increasing the Income of the Subjects of Children's and Youth Sports as well as the Subjects of Professional Sports" was enacted. This legalization expanded the ways in which the bookmaker business might be advertised, but at the same time affirmed that bookmakers should give part of their profits to sports associations that control matches. The target deductions of bookmakers were 5% of the positive difference between the number of accepted bets and paid wins. Of these deductions, 20% were to be spent on the development of children's and youth sports, and another 80% - for professional sports.[19] The “Liga Stavok,” led by Oleg Zhuravsky, was one of the main public supporters of the adoption of this law and actively participated in its elaboration.[20] When the law was implemented, agreements were signed with the following sports associations:

Sponsorship[edit]

In 2012-2013, “Liga Stavok” cooperated with the racing crew of the Marussia F1 Team. In 2012, the bookmaking company sponsored the team's performance at the racing show Moscow City Racing, which was held in the capital’s streets. In a year, “Liga Stavok” became a strategic partner of the team, and company’s logo was placed on the car Marussia MR02 and pilots’ suits during all 19 Grand Prix of the season.[33][34]

In January 2015, the company signed an agreement with the production center of the Dynamo Sports Club.[35] In April, they jointly launched the competition "Predictor” for fans. The participants received awards for accurate predictions of the results of matches playing by the "Dynamo" football, hockey, volleyball or basketball teams.[36] In June, “Liga Stavok” sponsored a futsal tournament "Yegor Titov Cup,” organized by the football player Yegor Titov.[37][38]

Since 2016, the betting company has been the prime partner and sponsor of the annual festival Moscow Chess Open.[39] In the same year, the company began to cooperate with the joint-stock company "Rossiiskie ippodropy" (Russian: Российские ипподромы) and opened the points of parimutuel betting of the National equestrian sport.[40] Moreover, the “Liga Stavok” has invested in the race for the Prize of the President of Russia and the race "Grand prix of Radio Monte Carlo" for several seasons.[41][42]

In July 2017, “Liga Stavok” became the prime partner of the Russian Football Championship by the results of a closed competition.[43] Thereby, the company received at least three minutes of advertising time in televised matches of the Premier League (at the TV channels "Match TV", "Hash Futbol,” "Match! Futbol 1”, "Match! Arena" and others), and the same time on the advertising boards and billboards around the field.[44] In August, “Liga Stavok” and the RPL established the Football Prize "Liga Fair Play", which was given to teams that demonstrated the least violations of the rules, respect for the opponent and referees, and the most benevolent support group during the season.[45] In the same year, the bookmaking company performed as the prime partner of the annual FIFA 18 Strawberry Fields Cup 2017 eSports tournament, which was organized by the Game Show and the charitable foundation “Sozvezdie dobra” (Russian: Созвездие добра) named after Oleg Zhuravsky.[46] In December 2017, the “Liga Stavok” also signed a five-year contract with Ice Hockey Federation of Russia.[47] Since that time the company is the official partner of the Russian National Hockey Team.[48]

During the XXIII Winter Olympic Games in South Korean Pyeongchang, “Liga Stavok” has been the prime partner of the “House of Sport” (Russian: «Дом спорта»), which was opened by the Fund for the Support of the Olympians.[49] In the "House,” live broadcasts, exhibitions, film screenings, competitions and entertainment tournaments for fans were held. The bookmaker presented a separate betting line with odds on the events of the Olympics.[50][51]

Activities[edit]

Betting[edit]

“Liga Stavok” takes bets on the results of sports competitions, as well as various events of cultural and social life. In addition to constant rates for the results of Eurovision Song Contest, Oscars, Golden Globe Award, Cannes Film Festival,[52] the company bets on individual events. For example, in 2011, the stakes were made for the burial of Vladimir Lenin's body, which entailed the dissatisfaction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.[53][54] In 2016, “Liga” betted on Donald Trump’s win[55] and in 2018 on a voluntary withdrawal from the Presidential competition an anchorwoman Ksenia Sobchak.[56] In 2017, “Liga” offered to bet on the rap battle of Oxxxymiron and Dizaster, and in a year - on whether Oxxxymiron receives a literary award of Alexander Pyatigorsky.[57][58]In 2017, “Liga Stavok” paid the biggest prize in the history of the bookmaker business in Russia.[59] A resident of Siberia received a reward of 28.76 million rubles. He put 213 thousand rubles for 12 matches and won each of them.[60]

Publishing[edit]

In 2016, “Liga Stavok” and the social network for sports forecasters BettingExpert published the first guide on the rates in Russia. "The Art of Betting on Sport" appeared in the publishing house "Alpina Publisher".[61] Andrew Broker, Alexander Kuzmak and Vladimir Stognienko contributed to the guide with their advice.[62] In April 2017, “Liga” began publishing its own weekly magazine on sports and rates "Glavnaya Stavka" (Russian: «Главная Ставка»), the chief editor of which was the former head of the sports department of the newspaper «РБК daily» Nikolai Chegorsky.[63]

Charity[edit]

“Liga Stavok” is actively involved in charitable projects. In cooperation with the "Sozvezdie Dobra", it distributes personal grants for young sportsmen,[64] and directs funds from charitable events to third-party organizations. For example, the money won by the Strawberry Fields Cup 2017 for FIFA 18 was invested in the Social Rehabilitation Center for Infants in Rzhev. In addition, the income from the charity boxing battles was directed to the construction of a sports ground for the State Social Rehabilitation Center for Infants.[65][66]

Functioning and Structure[edit]

Market Share[edit]

"Liga Stavok" is one of the largest Russian bookmakers. As of December 2015, the company was represented by 500 clubs in various Russian cities with about 3,000 employees.[4] According to the “Bookmakers' Rating”, in May 2017 the betting company was the fourth largest participant in the market with a 14% stake, wherein the entire annual volume of the bookmaker market, including the illegal segment, was estimated at 677 billion rubles.[67] The income of the "Liga" in 2016 amounted to 4.5 billion rubles, and its annual loss - 10.3 million.[67]

Owners and Leadership[edit]

As of February 2018, the co-owners of the Limited Liability Company "First International Bookmaker Company" were Swiss company "Kazako AG" (23%), British "KHML Holding LTD" (15%), registered in the British Virgin Islands “Linberry Holdings Inc.” (15%), Tatyana Bashmakova (15%), Alena Avdeeva (15%), the Belizean “Limada Corporation” (7%), the British “X-M-L-V LTD” (5%), and Seychelles "Felicia Group" (5%).[68][69] The president of the company is its co-founder Yuri Krasovsky, who since 2017 is also the president of the First Self-regulatory Organization of Bookmakers in Russia.[70]

Honors[edit]

"Liga Stavok" won the national award "Sport and Russia" three times. In 2016, the company received a prize in the nomination of "The Best Campaign to Promote the Brand with the Participation of a Sports Star." A year later it won also the nomination "Best PR Campaign for the Promotion of Russian Football.” In 2018, it became a laureate in two categories: "Best Bookmaker Company" and "Best Sponsorship Project of Football Competitions”.[71] In addition, “Liga Stavok” was awarded the Runet Prize-2016 as “The Best Online Service Offering Sports Entertainment.” The next year, the company was recognized as the best bookmaker by the results of the voting for the “Brand №1 in Russia” (Russian: «Марка №1 в России») in the category "Sports Betting”.[17][72]

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External links[edit]