Russia tweaks more gambling rules

The gambling rule book in Russia gets a little thicker as the government announces more legislation that could impact not just investors and operators but also potential players.

Stakeholders brace for more Russian gambling rulesFirst, the Russian government is now mulling whether to allow gambling stakeholders to use foreign currencies to pay for services in gambling zones.

Russia’s News of Gambling reported that the Russian government has ordered the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and the Ministry for the development of the Far East create a bill that will allow the use of foreign currency for calculation of areas of gambling zones.

In response, Russia’s Ministry of Finance sent letters to the branch offices to provide proposals for amendments to legislation relating to the calculation of foreign exchange in special gambling zones in the shortest possible time.

There are at least six gaming zones in Russia but only four of those zones hold gambling-related activities. These zones were Primorye, Siberian Coin, Amber, and Azov-City. The fifth gaming zone will be opened in Sochi while the last gaming area will be put up in Crimea.

In another gambling development in Russia, bookmakers in Belgorod may have to dig deeper in their pockets as Russia’s administrative city is set to impose the maximum tax rate on them.

News of Gambling reported that the Belgorod Regional Duma deputies approved the draft regional law on tax rates on gambling during the 9th meeting. The law, which was initiated by deputy regional Duma Sergey Lisov, provides for the introduction of maximum rates of tax for bookmakers and betting.

Once the law is enforced, bookmaker and betting organizations will have to pay taxes worth RUB 125,000 (US$ 1,900) from the current RUB 7,000 (US$ 106).

Lisove noted that there are 10 bookmakers who are currently paying a minimum tax rate on gambling.

“According to the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, the regional authorities have the right to establish a tax on gambling alone, but within fixed rules. The new law increases the tax rates up to the maximum permitted, as a result of the budget of the region will receive an additional source of funding,” Lisov said, according to News of Gambling.

The regional Duma deputies also voted for another bill, which concerns the regulation of the activities of bookmakers and betting.