Three partners from 1xBet involved in Russian investigation
In its effort to crack down on online sports betting operator 1xBet Russia is getting serious. A tech centre reportedly used by the company has been raided by authorities, and three suspects were identified in an investigation into their activities.
Bryansk branch, Roman Semiokhin, Dmitry Kazorin and Sergey Karshkov are named on the Russian Federation’s Investigative Committee website as suspects who organized and performed gambling for 1xBet without a local licence. The website states that they were investigated for the period from October 2014 to May 2019, and during that time “earned revenue amounting to over 63 billion rubles ($860 million) in total.”
It is noted that all three are Bryansk natives, and Sergei Karshkov had previously worked with police to achieve Major rank. But he officially registered a non-profit group called the Union of Sweepstakes Organizers as well as the Union of Bookmakers in 2015. Both were liquidated in 2018 for failure to disclose records due to court decisions.
His lawyer, Alexander Zheleznikov, says Karskov never held any position with 1xBet but acted as the operator ‘s marketing partner. “The investigation indiscriminately accused these people of causing 63 billion rubles of harm to the state, suggesting that this money was illegal costs, but none of those who made those prices have been questioned,” he said.
Locally known as 1xStavka, 1xBet was a famous advertiser for Russian internet users up to at least the first part of 2019, at the time ranking third in video advertisement charts. Yet a clampdown on pirated video content, where several 1xStavka advertisements have been used, saw it fall out of the rankings quickly.
If the three are convicted of the crimes that they are charged with, they face up to six years in a Russian jail. In the meantime, 1xBet is confirmed to be inaccessible either from Russia or from Ukraine but is available in other regions to which they provide services.
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