By Owain Flanders
With all sport competitions in Russia suspended until April 17, certain gambling websites in the country have begun offering betting on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russian gambling websites Betcity and Parimatch are both offering COVID-19 betting categories.
Betcity is offering options such as, ‘WHO announces creation of vaccine against COVID-19 by 31 Dec 2020?’ and ‘WHO announces end of COVID-19 pandemic before 01 Jan 2021?’
Meanwhile, Parimatch allows betting on whether Russia will impose movement restrictions for its citizens or ban public gatherings.
The two operators are not the first to attempt to capitalise on the COVID-19 crisis.
Earlier this month, the Netherlands Gambling Authority announced it would be taking strict action after it found illegal online gambling providers to be taking advantage of the closure of arcades and casinos by marketing their sites as “corona-free” online offerings.
A number of regulatory bodies in Europe have urged licensees to make customer protection a priority during this time.
The Malta Gaming Authority advised its licensees to deliver “socially responsible commercial communications with respect to COVID-19,” while the Gambling Commission reinforced that customer protection and responsible marketing are now even more essential, considering the number of housebound customers in the UK.