Fonbet is a Russian betting company (BC), operating as F. O. N.". Founded in 1994 by chess grandmaster Anatoly Machulsky. The network of Fonbet betting shops has more than 100 clubs in Moscow and more than 1000 branches in 82 regions of Russia. For 2021, Fonbet is the largest bookmaker in Russia in terms of revenue. It is considered the oldest betting company in Russia.
Betting company "Fonbet" under the name "F.O.N." was founded in 1994 by chess grandmaster Anatoly Machulsky - he "even in Soviet times was considered a great specialist in gambling among chess players", as well as a native of the gambling industry Vadim Sidorov and banker Andrey Rozov.
The first betting shop was opened near Ulitsa 1905 Goda metro station. In 1995, the number of points increased to 5, the process of accepting and processing bets became computerized. In 1997, the company launched an official website, and in 1998 it began accepting bets via the Internet (for that time it was innovative - the future leading Russian Internet companies were just emerging).
In 1998, a branch was opened in St. Petersburg, by 2003 the network of betting shops included more than 100 branches in cities of Russia and the CIS countries. The company began to publish the weekly newspaper "On the background of sports" with sports information.
In 2009, the sectoral legislation was reformed, the Federal Law of the Russian Federation dated December 29, 2006 No. 244-FZ “On State Regulation of Organizing and Conducting Gambling and on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation” came into force. The activity of the gambling business was limited to 4 special zones, and bookmakers were allowed to accept bets on events, the outcome of which they cannot influence. Instead of canceled licenses from the Ministry of Sports, issued earlier for each betting shop, the Federal Tax Service (FTS) began to issue a single license for the company. Company "F.O.N." became one of 10 betting companies that received a new license in 2009.
In 2011, the company became a member of the First Self-Regulatory Organization of Russian Bookmakers. On February 10, 2016, on its own initiative, the company withdrew from the members of the All-Russian community of bookmakers, which also performed arbitration functions. In the same year, the company joined the Self-Regulatory Organization "Association of Bookmakers", created on its initiative, which unites a number of organizers of gambling in Russian bookmakers.
In 2014, the company rebranded and changed its name to F.O.N. on Fonbet and introduced a new color scheme in symbols. In the same year, the State Duma allowed betting on the Internet.
Since 2015, Fonbet has been actively expanding its network of betting clubs in large cities in order to attract new customers. Since 2018 (since the FIFA World Cup in Russia), the company has stepped up promotions and offers of bonuses. The growing line of bookmaker bets of the company includes new types of bets for Fonbet bookmaker, both in traditional sports and in others.
In March 2020, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, according to the criteria of annual revenue, the amount of tax deductions and the number of employees, included the Fonbet bookmaker at number 76 in the updated list of 646 backbone organizations of the Russian economy that are eligible for state financial assistance during the economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fonbet was the only bookmaker on the list. The classification of the betting company as a “backbone enterprise” raised objections from the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, and after their criticism, the Ministry of Economics globally revised the approach to the formation of the list. In its statement, Fonbet said that it was automatically included in the list as a major taxpayer and employer, but then "did its best to voluntarily withdraw from this list." The company indicated that it “does not require financial assistance from the state, as the company has optimized costs” and created its own program of financial support for social institutions in Russia amid the pandemice.
You can place bets in person at betting shops (PPS) and remotely via the Internet, including using mobile applications. Presentation of a passport or indication of passport data is required. Bets are accepted on more than 50 sports and some eSports disciplines. Previously, events from the world of culture and politics appeared in the line, however, the conclusion of such bets was suspended after the amendments to the Law on State Regulation of Organization and Conduct of Gambling came into force in July 2020.
Bets can be placed on individual events, as well as on a certain outcome of a series of events (including those from different sports), combined into one bet - the winnings in this case can be much higher. The player needs to present a passport and pay 13% personal income tax on winnings over 15,000 rubles.
The Federal Tax Service, due to the inability to determine the profit of betting companies, transferred all industry organizations to an imputed tax: Fonbet, like other bookmakers, pays 14 thousand rubles a month from each betting shop (PPS), up to 250 thousand rubles a year for the processing center, where there is a single accounting of rates and calculation of winnings, and from 2.5 million to 3 million rubles. per month for the processing center processing interactive bets. Also, since 2017, all bookmakers have been paying deductions for the development of professional sports - 60 million rubles a year. The total amount of taxes paid to the budget for 2020 exceeded 2 billion rubles.
According to Metarating, in 2020 Fonbet showed the highest revenue and net profit among Russian bookmakers: revenue amounted to 52.19 billion rubles (14 billion more than in 2019), profit increased from 19.4 to 23.3 billion.
The general director of the company is Alexander Paramonov.
In 2014, the founders of Fonbet went out of business, selling the company to Maxim Kiryukhin, who had previously been the company's largest franchisee. In December 2017, Maxim Kiryukhin reduced his ownership to 8.67%. At the beginning of 2020, 65.5% of the company belonged to a Cypriot holding, 10% to businessman Sergei Tetruashvili, 8.33% to ex-State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party Stanislav Magomedov, 8% to social activist Irina Borodina