The betting market is actively growing, not just in Europe but also in the CIS. Azerbaijan is one of the largest representatives of the CIS. Sports betting services are provided by both legal bookmakers as well as European ones operating under an offshore license issued on the Isle of Man, in Curacao, or elsewhere. There are both local bookmakers and internationally licensed Russian and European betting companies in the country. Despite their different licenses and origins, players’ expectations for betting companies remain the same: reliability, a broad range of events and prop bets, and a user-friendly website with good withdrawal options.
The Legality of the Business
Gambling was banned in Azerbaijan, but it did not affect bookmakers and lotteries. Online and in-person casinos are prohibited, while betting shops, state lotteries, and online betting are allowed in the country. Bookmakers have been able to receive official status since 2010. They need to be licensed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in order to operate legally. The license is issued once for a period of 10 years. It should be noted that bookmakers are called sports betting operators in Azerbaijan.
The largest and most famous bookmaker in Azerbaijan is TOPAZ. This sports betting operator finances most of the sports events, including the elite football division. It should be noted that it evenly distributes money for sports development, with football receiving no more than 30 percent of all sponsorship money. Betting shops are present in four cities: Baku, Ganja, Sumgait, and Shamkir. Legal bookmakers are charged 6% tax on their income, while players do not pay taxes on their winnings at all.
Azerbaijan holds a state monopoly on bets at betting shops. The lack of competition leads to a lack of market relations: reduced odds, account limiting, and so on. Foreign bookmakers accepting bets online are prohibited in the region, but the number of offshore and Russian bookmakers that accept bets in Azerbaijani manat exceeds two dozen. Offshore betting companies are available through working mirrors that provide timely access to your personal account. Online bookmakers are distinguished by quality services and reliability, a wide selection of events and prop bets, the availability of popular deposit methods, and quality customer support. Despite the ban on online betting, local bookmakers and offshore betting houses have been actively developing in Azerbaijan.
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