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Belarus Announces Online Gambling Launch

- August 30, 2018 By Riley Wilson -

The country will face a two-year transitional period.

The regulation of the market will commence in April next year.

After the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko approved the online gaming in this Eastern European country by signing the decree into law earlier this month, the tax ministry has now confirmed the regulation of the market will commence in April next year.

The proposal to legalise online gambling was introduced back in July by Sergei Nalivaiko, the Minister of Taxes and Levies.

A Two-Year Transitional Period

Commenting on the latest situation, the Deputy Tax and Duties Minister, Vladimir Mukvich, stated the country would face a two-year transitional period, during which all operators interested in doing business in Belarus would be able to apply for an online gaming licence.

According to the Deputy Minister, the transitional period will end on April 1, 2020.

Mukvich also stated he didn’t believe a large number of online casino operators would initially apply for the licence and added the government also thought there were no preconditions for such a trend at this moment.

He pointed out the new piece of legislation, Decree No.305, would introduce strict regulations and impose equally strict conditions for the operators, while its goal was to maximise the protection of the country’s population of around 9.5 million.

Mukvich said the process would be done not with the aim of minimising the number of facilities, but to provide maximum protection to the players.

What Else Will the Decree Introduce?

Under the provisions of the Decree No.305, the minimum age for online gambling will be set at 21, while identity checks will be conducted.

All operators offering their services to players in Belarus will be obliged by law to deposit funds into a designated account. These funds will be used to cover any winnings or taxes that would be due if the venture ceases its operations.

The Belarusian tax authorities will introduce a special payment system. That way, they will be able to closely monitor all transactions and keep an eye on the operators.

Surveillance cameras will have to be installed in casinos, while players will not be allowed to lend funds to other punters.

The regulation of the online gambling market follows the legalisation of cryptocurrencies, ICOs and smart contracts, which were given the green light back in December.

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