888Poker and GGPoker are no longer available to players based in Russia. Although there was not an official statement citing the reasons for the exit, the most obvious reason is the invasion in Ukraine that made many businesses cease operations in Russia.
It was reported that Russian poker players received emails to withdraw any unused funds from their GGPoker accounts. As for the 888Poker customers, they were informed that they had only one withdrawal method available – the e-wallet MuchBetter.
Earlier in March, another gambling giant – PokerStars also suspended its operations in Russia.
None of the three companies expressed any political views, but the financial sanctions that have befallen Russia are said to be the main reason for their exit.
Since the beginning of March, many big brands have been ceasing operations or banning Russian customers from using their services.
As for the casino brands, they have quickly lost their playerbase due to the tumbling value of the ruble. Casino players now find it difficult to buy essential stuff, let alone place bets. Also, Russia was hit with severe financial penalties, which made it challenging for foreign companies to take money out of the country. In the best-case scenario, a withdrawal come with increased fees, which is yet another compelling reason why iGaming companies decided to leave the market.
The crypto gambling sites seem to be the least affected and now they are the top option of all Russian players. Smaller casino sites that have always been struggling to attract players due to the presence of the industry leaders now also have the opportunity to cement themselves a spot on the market or they can simply follow the example of 888, PokerStars and GGPoker.