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Sportsbooks Begin Pulling Betting Markets From Sports Leagues and Events In Russia, Belarus Amid Invasion Of Ukraine

Sportsbooks Begin Pulling Betting Markets From Sports Leagues and Events In Russia, Belarus Amid Invasion Of Ukraine article feature image
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Peter KovalevTASS via Getty Images. Pictured: Sochi’s players are seen before a 2021/22 KHL Regular Season ice hockey match between SKA St Petersburg and FC Sochi at the Ice Palace.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include addition information regarding DraftKings’ business in the Ukraine and FanDuel’s offerings.

DraftKings announced Thursday that it will no longer offer betting on sports leagues and events in Russia and Belarus amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The sportsbook’s take on games there, primarily the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), is small, but the book is mimicking what many businesses are doing in response to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine — disassociating with any business it has with the country.

DraftKings doesn’t have business in Russia, but they do have business in the Ukraine, including teams of engineers, coders and analysts.

No other sportsbooks had arrived at a similar decision as of 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, but FanDuel has pulled betting on events and sports in Russia as of 3 p.m. ET. PointsBet later followed.

In the past few days, the NBA halted all business with Russia, including suspending its broadcasts to the nation. Russia has been kicked out of the World Cup, UEFA stripped St. Petersburg of being the host of the Champions League Final, F1 has terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix and the ATP and WTA suspended the 2022 Kremlin Cup.

Additionally, Beijing Paralympics organizers announced they were barring athletes from Russia and Belarus from participating.

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In Other DraftKings News

DraftKings also had its investor day on Thursday in an effort to deeper explain its business, which has long been weighed down by Wall Street doubters.

The response? Shares were crushed to nearly all-time lows, down 8.6% to $21.19 in the first two and a half hours of the trading day. The stock is down nearly 68% over the last year.

In its presentation, DraftKings said the overall sports betting and iGaming business is bigger than they thought it was, with a total addressable North American market at maturity of $80 billion, up from $68 billion.

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