- The Colorado Division of Gaming has suspended betting on Russian and Belarusian sports in response to the Ukraine invasion.
- The directive includes Russian and Belarusian ‘governing bodies, leagues, teams, players and events’.
- This suspension will be in effect until further notice.
Russia’s unprovoked aggression against neighboring Ukraine has galvanized the entire world in unified disgust and anger. That has led to a litany of formal–and informal–economic sanctions against Russia intended to hit the country in the proverbial pocketbook. So far it has worked–the value of the Russian Ruble has completely cratered to an all time low and is now worth less than a cent against the US dollar. Just take a look at the 1 year chart of the Ruble against the US Dollar from xe.com–the speed and severity of the implosion is downright shocking, even given the circumstances:
Russian authorities have kept the Moscow stock market closed, primarily to protect its shares from a massive selloff. Russian companies listed on the London Stock Exchange haven’t been as fortunate. The 23 Russian stocks that comprise the Dow Jones Russia GDR Index have lost 98% of their value in two weeks, wiping $572 billion USD from the market value of companies like Gazprom PJSC, Sberbank of Russia PJSC and Rosneft PJSC. And, yes, we’ve got a chart for that as well:
It could be about to get even worse–S&P Dow Jones and UK counterpart FTSE Russell are planning to remove Russian stocks from their standard equity indexes, further isolating the entire economy. On a micro level, businesses around the world and from every industry imaginable are leaving Russia. This includes the sports world and in the past week several major organizations have dropped most or all Russian involvement including Formula 1, UEFA and even the WWE.
The latest development is that sports betting appears to be joining the movement starting in Colorado. Colorado has issued an industry bulletin today suspending betting on Russian based sports. Here’s the explanation from a Colorado Department of Gaming press release:
LAKEWOOD, Friday, March 4, 2022- In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Colorado Division of Gaming issued an industry bulletin today suspending all Russian and Belarussian governing bodies, leagues, teams, players, and events from the Official Sports Betting Catalog of Events and Wagers.
Suspended entries were identified and published in the bulletin, and sports betting operations are expected to make all reasonable efforts to comply with the directive.The Division of Gaming also encouraged sports betting operations to review their offerings and suspend any other governing bodies, leagues, players, teams, and events representing Russia and Belarus.
The suspension is effective at 05:00 p.m. MST on March 5, 2022, and remains in effect until further notice. For more information on Colorado sports betting and allowable wagers, visit the Division of Gaming website at sbg.colorado.gov/sports-betting.
Incidentally, I just learned that there are two correct ways to spell ‘Belarusian’. Spelling it with an extra ‘s’– ‘Belarussian’–as in the Colorado press release is also correct.
The press release referred to Sports Betting Industry Bulletin #10 which I’ve posted below. It explains the suspension in more detail and clarifies the status of players like Alex Ovechkin–a Russian player competing in a North American league for a US team. :
Here’s the full list of suspended events, leagues and sports from the state Catalog of Events and Wagers:
Good move and hopefully more states will follow suit. The audience and revenue that sports betting generates is significant–and particularly for niche sports.