On September 6, after Informnapalm published its investigation on 1Xbet and it caused a scandal, KRAIL was pushed to cancel the licenses of the Russian bookmaker in Ukraine. It was a victory. But only a tactical one. The very next day, You Betting Company LLC (Ukr. “Tvoia Bettinhova Kompaniia”, LLC TBK), which introduced the brand to Ukraine, announced its intention to appeal the KRAIL’s decision through the court. We hope that these efforts will be futile.
However, LLC TBK is only the tip of the Russian iceberg named 1XBet, a company that tries to get information about Ukrainians who like to gamble (and lose money). The betting company owners Semiokhin, Kazorin and Karshkov are building a large network to obtain the personal data of Ukrainians. And 1XBet is only one of its parts, which includes several other bookmaker brands.
We have analyzed other companies and brands that have already received or are preparing to receive licenses to operate in Ukraine, and found that at least four of them are part of the 1XBet network. Spoiler: only the Security Service of Ukraine and the National Security Council can stop the process of building the Russian network in Ukraine by imposing sanctions on the individual owners of 1XBet and Ukrainian bookmaking brands and websites associated with them.
Melbet and Pointloto
The OSINT group Molfar, together with AIN journalists, have provided evidence that POINTLOTO LLC, which received a license to organize gambling games on the Internet, is a subsidiary of 1XBet. Here, you can learn more.
Back then, a company named Melbet LLC received a license to operate in Ukraine. It was supposed to work under the Melbet brand. But after the scandal 1XBet, the company changed its name to POINTLOTO.
Most likely, this is due to the fact that Melbet works in Russia and is associated with 1XBet. The legal entity that stands behind Melbet in the Russian Federation and owns its trademark, as of September 2022, actually belongs to a company named Melofon LLC. But not long ago, the same trademark belonged to Celebrity LLC, which had actually also changed its name. Previously, Celebrity LLC was named 1XSTAVKA, and it was directly affiliated with 1xBet.
Moreover, part of the melbet.sport.ua is hosted on the same IP (188.8.131.52) with 1XBet‘s mirrors, which have an almost identical design as Melbet’s website, and the same odds as on the Semiokhin, Karshkov and Kazorin’s website.
And for a while, whenever one visited melbet.ua, there was displayed the 1XBet website.
In Ukraine, the brand FanSport is used by Play Fan Investment LLC. The company received a license to organize and conduct online gambling back in January 2022. Oleksandr Oleksandrovich Kleschuk is the owner of Play Fan Investment LLC.
When in December 2016 the co-owner of VS Energy Giner gained control over PINbank, Oleksandr Kleschuk (48.07% of shares) and Mykhailo Spektor (4.8608% of shares) withdrew from the bank’s shareholders.
As we previously wrote in one of our articles, Boris Baum helped to establish contact between Semiokhin, Karshkov and Mykhailo Spektor. Now, the latter is responsible for the success of 1XBet in Ukraine and promotes the interests of the Russian founders of the project.
Apparently, he is the one who is closely connected with FanSport. This is evidenced by the long chain of connections between Oleksandr Kleschuk and Mykhailo Spektor.
Kleschuk currently runs PJSC Trest Kyivelectromontazh registered on Saksaganskoho street 67, Kyiv. Until 2021, EF AND EM UKRAINE was registered at the same address. The company‘s beneficiary is Olga Spektor, Mykhailo Spektor’s daughter. Mykhailo Spektor was the head of this company until 2018. After Spektor, the company was headed by Valery Tarasyuk. Until February 2022, Tarasyuk headed the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities and worked at VS-Energy since 2006. After that, Valery Tarasyuk’s brother, Artem Tarasyuk, became the head of the company.
It was Artem Tarasyuk who registered TM “fan-sport” in 2016.
Furthermore, back in July, the Gaming Capital community noticed how similar the 1XBet and Fan Sport websites were.
“The same interface as in 1xBet. The same odds as in 1xBet. But we are on the website of the Fan Sport bookmaker”, stands in the community.
And it’s true – FanSport uses the platform BetB2B, as they mentioned it themselves in their marketing materials. On the platform’s website, 1XBet is listed as the main client. But according to the interview of Semyokhin and Karshkov with Forbes, 1XBet is developing the platform by itself. It is obvious that BetB2B is just another subsidiary of the Russian bookmakers, which they use to create seemingly unrelated brands, FanSport in particular.
It is interesting that another betting website, BetWinner, also uses the same platform. Fortunately, it does not yet have a license to operate in Ukraine. But in January 2022, TM BetWinner was registered in Ukraine. And most likely, this was done to get a license to operate in the future. Therefore, let’s have a look at this brand.
Like the previous platforms, BetWinner’s website is almost completely identical to 1XBet’s one. Moreover, according to Wikipedia, 1XBet is a subsidiary of BetWinner, the Semiokhin, Karshkov and Kazorin’s holding company.
In addition, in August 2022, profile websites published the news about KRAIL (Ukr., Gambling and Lottery Regulatory Commission) demanding from BetWinner limit access to the platform for Ukrainians. The text states that TM BetWinner is owned and operated by Cyprus-based Marikit Holdings Limited. Marikit Holdings Limited is headed by SNIZHANA SHKOLA. She is also listed as the director of ZAVBIN LTD. Zavbin Ltd, in turn, is an operator of the 1xSlots online casino.
In the same August, Ukrainian journalists wrote about the connection between 1xSlots and 1XBet. 1xSlots’ marketing materials indicate the brand’s affiliation with 1XBet. And this, in its turn, indicates a direct connection between BetWinner and 1XBet.
There are actually several common aspects for Melbet, PoinLoto, FanSport, BetWinner and 1XBet:
Corporate publisher on iOS. Today, according to the Ukrainian bookmaker’s website, the 1XBet app can be downloaded directly from the AppStore, Melbet can be downloaded to iPhones through a tester app, and the FanSport app is under development at the moment. However, it was not always like that.
Previously, one could install applications with gambling games on iPhone right from bookmaker websites and online casinos. To start working with the apps, users had to allow a smartphone to give credentials to the development company that distributed the app.
You can see the process of installing the app in a video by Melbet India published on YouTube back in 2018: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/Z_Edh8mpMNw
There are many similar instructions for installing FanSport, BetWinner and 1XBet apps on iPhones. All instructions were made by the same developer and publisher, LLC Contrast. Thus, it confirms the common source and affiliation of the bookmakers.
The information below is taken directly from the 1XBet, Melbet, FanSport and BetWinner websites. It clearly demonstrates that all the websites are interconnected. At the time of publication, all the pages are available and displayed in the investigation. In case the Russians decide to hide the evidence and change the information on the websites, we have recorded a video that proves that all the websites belong to 1XBet.
One CMS for everyone
In the code of the 1XBet website, it was possible to find information about the CMS (content management system). This file is available at https://1xbet.com/genfiles/cms/ .
Information about CMS of Melbet (https://melbet.com/genfiles/cms/ ), FanSport (https://fan-sport.com/genfiles/cms/ ) and BetWinner (https://betwinner.com/genfiles/cms/ ) is available at similar links.
The code on every page is absolutely identical.
Each website contains files with the terms and rules of the bookmaker office. They are also identical on each of the websites apart from the selected language. Yet, when you choose English, all the listed websites show an affiliation with 1XBet.
Once you choose Ukrainian, you can see an affiliation of all the websites to FanSport. As an example, we show “Basic definitions and terms” on the BetWinner and 1XBet websites.
In the files placed on the websites, you can also find advertising banners. And they are also identical. One of them, by the way, depicts the football players of Dynamo Moscow. The sponsor of this Russian team is 1XStavka, a 1XBet’s subsidiary.
We have looked through the Ukrainian and Russian localization files on several websites this or other way associated with 1XBet. As in the previous examples, they are almost completely identical, starting with the file names on the websites and ending with the file size.
The network for collecting data on Ukrainians should be blocked
According to the conducted analysis of several websites licensed to gamble in Ukraine or being in a process of receiving a license, there is clear evidence of Russians building a large network for collecting personal data in Ukraine. In the first investigation, we wrote about the possible connections of Roman Semiokhin, Sergey Karshkov and Dmytro Kazorin with the Russian special services. Most likely, the personal data of Ukrainians is the price they pay to the special services for closing criminal cases and an opportunity to continue working in Russia.
What can be done? After KRAIL, headed by Ivan Rudy, revoked the license of 1XBet, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) should introduce sanctions against the founders of XBet and all brands and legal entities that keep on collecting personal data of Ukrainians.
There is a simple fact that should be obvious to both the Security Service and the NSDC: sensitive data about gamblers is extremely valuable information for the enemy’s intelligence, as it can be used to recruit agents in Ukraine.