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Russia reduces sports betting tax...

Russia reduces sports betting tax

Published on November 18, 2016

Russian government has modified the tax policy in favour of licensed sports betting operators. Further reductions have been proposed to bookmakers’ mandatory contributions to Russian sports bodies.

In March this year it was announced that licensed bookmakers will have to contribute with 5% of their revenues, having a minimum quarterly payment of US $232,000. At that time online sports betting operators threatened to leave Russian market. Last month a new amendment was proposed to reduce the tax to 3%.

Following requests from betting operators that are already struggling with heightened regulatory fees, the Ministry of Finance reduced mandatory contribution to 1% of online and land-based betting revenue.

Darina Denisov, president of the Bookmakers Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO), emphasised that in the future the government should discuss such measures with the operators before the announcement of “extreme tax proposals that cause such turmoil.”

Nikolai Oganezov, the former president of the Bookmakers SRO, said that “you can, of course, to some extent, be happy that the Ministry of Finance took the side of reality, but the 1% tax must be viewed in the totality of all taxes.”

Konstantin Makarov, Bingo Boom CE, commented that the 1% sports tax was still a significant sum but believes the industry can absorb it.