Sports Betting Industry to Change Following Russia’s Illegal Invasion of Ukraine

Posted on: February 25, 2022, 07:05h. 

Last updated on: February 25, 2022, 12:34h.

The illegal incursion of Russian forces into Ukraine has global political and humanitarian implications. But it’s altering the gaming industry, as well.

Gazprom Stadium
Russia’s Gazprom Stadium in Saint Petersburg. The venue was to host the UEFA Champions League final this May, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed those plans. (Image: Sporting News)

Sports bettors can expect to see a lot of items coming off the boards, as well as line movements. Futures bets and others will be readjusted following Russia’s hostile takeover.

The Champions League Final in UEFA will take place this May 28. Until now, Russia’s Gazprom Stadium in Saint Petersburg was to play host to the event. That will no longer happen, according to a UEFA announcement from yesterday.

UEFA shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine,” states a UEFA announcement.

An emergency meeting scheduled to take place today by the UEFA Executive Committee determined where the competition will take place. Now, Stade de France in Saint-Dennis, France, will be the host.

More Changes Coming

Sports venue changes also can change the odds. Futures betting options often see the biggest impact.

Depending on the terms and conditions of the particular book, it may decide to cancel certain bets and refund the money. It could also decide to let the bets ride, making adjustments for the changes.

UEFA could also make changes to other matches. Russia will hold national team-level qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar next month. However, according to the organization, it received a letter from European Union parliamentarians calling for those plans to be scrapped.

Responses to’s requests for comment from DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook, and others were still pending at press time.

UEFA Not Alone in Taking a Stand

UEFA isn’t the only sports organization to consider changes in light of Russia’s invasion. Formula 1 is reportedly considering pulling races, like this September’s Grand Prix in Sochi, out of the country. And the ATP Challenger, which was to take place in Moscow next week, is off the books, according to Reuters.

The World Cup Playoffs scheduled for next month may move out of Russia. Soccer groups in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Sweden came together to criticize Russia and have asserted that if FIFA doesn’t take action, they won’t participate.

The International Olympics Committee has spoken up as well. It has condemned Russia for not only the invasion but for violating a truce that accompanies the Olympic Games. This truce is in place until after the Winter Paralympic Games concludes in March.

EuroLeague Basketball games are being canceled, although the league has not yet officially taken a position. Barcelona was to play two Russian teams this weekend – one today and another on Sunday. Both games have been taken off the schedule.

The sports and sports betting industries can expect to see a lot more in the coming weeks.