Monday, September 26, 2022

PointsBet DraftKings and FanDuel pull support for events in Russia and Belarus

Three sports betting operators have voted with their feet, denouncing the Russian invasion of Ukraine by withdrawing their support for events in the country, as well as neighbouring Belarus.

PointsBet, DraftKings and FanDuel have all pulled their backing for the Russian market as the nation continues to pursue hostilities against Ukraine.

Headquartered in Melbourne, though with a significant US presence, PointsBet published a tweet, announcing that it was pulling all support for sporting events in Russia and Belarus, including the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

“Effective immediately, PointsBet is no longer accepting bets or posting lines for Russian and Belarus-based professional sports leagues and events, including all KHL events.”

DraftKings opted for a similar course of action, posting a statement on Twitter which read: “We will no longer offer betting on sports leagues and events in Russia and Belarus, such as the KHL.

“DraftKings has no direct commercial relationship with any Russian or Belarusian league, team or sports organisation.

“Our Customer Experience team is prepared to answer questions from any customers impacted by this change.”

Meanwhile, FanDuel, the US arm of Irish betting giant Flutter Entertainment, told Legal Sports Report that it too was taking down the same markets.

Among the events most likely to be impacted is the KHL, which was specifically mentioned by both PointsBet and DraftKings. The hockey league is currently in the middle of playoffs, despite the withdrawal of various foreign players.

This also comes amid widespread condemnation of Russia’s actions from the global gambling industry. Previously, Karel Komárek, who founded Czech investment firm KKCG, and Robert Chvátal, the CEO of Allwyn Entertainment, co-authored an open letter denouncing Russia’s “brutal invasion of Ukraine.”

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