Russo-Ukrainian war

Colorado's regulator halts all sports betting on Russian and Belarussian leagues, players and events

Dinamo Kyiv and Zenit St. Petersburg.
Reading time 1:30 min

Due to the current bellic situation in Ukraine, the Colorado Division of Gaming announced Friday the suspension of all sports betting on Russian and Belarussian leagues, players and events.

The decision prohibits any gambling websites that hold a license from the regulator to offer bets and markets on events based in Russia and Belarus, or involve athletes from those countries. 

In an industry bulletin issued last week, the division suspended all Russian and Belarussian governing bodies, leagues, teams, players and events from the Official Sports Betting Catalog of Events and Wagers, which enables bets to be taken within the state of Colorado by licensed operators. 

Operators were also encouraged to review their offerings and halt any activities involving any other governing bodies, leagues, players, teams and events representing both countries. 

Sportsbooks in Colorado have been prohibited to offer any bets on events, players or contests linked to the two belligerent countries since Saturday. Some of the suspended entities include the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, the Belarussian Ice Hockey Association, and the Russian Football Union, among others. The Colorado Division of Gaming enforcement is not the only regulator or industry representative to act. 

Russian and Belarussian’s national teams and clubs have also been suspended by FIFA and UEFA from international football until further notice. The move makes it likely that Russia will be excluded from this year’s World Cup and women’s Euro 2020 tournament. 

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine”, FIFA and UEFA said in a joint statement. 

These punishments involving sports and politics came after the International Olympic Committee pushed dozens of sports governing bodies to exclude Russian athletes, stating it was necessary to “protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants”.

On Friday, the European State Lotteries and Toto Association (EL) announced its decision to suspend memberships in Russia and Belarus, and also recommended its members to stop taking bets on Russian and Belorussian teams and leagues.

“As a part of the global community, the European State Lotteries and Toto Association is deeply concerned about Russia’s reasonless invasion of Ukraine and the resultant threats to peace, humanity and stability”, the Association wrote in an official statement. 

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