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Russia Planning a Tenfold Tax Increase

- October 11, 2017 By Riley Wilson -

Russia have plans to seriously increase gaming taxes

Bad news for gaming operators in Russia as the government plans to considerably increase taxes.

The latest guidelines for the budget, tax and customs levies for the period from 2018 to 2020, recently revealed by the Russian Ministry of Finance, show the authorities plan to substantially raise gaming taxes during this period.

According to available information, the Ministry plans to double the current taxes on January 1, 2018, while a series of further increases until 2020 will see the tax rates jump by 10 times.

Boosting Taxation

The Ministry has justified its decision by saying that the taxes have remained the same for more than a decade (13 years to be precise), since the last increase was on January 1, 2004. The main goal of this move is to increase the budgets of the Russian federal subjects, the country’s constituent entities.

This is a part of the latest efforts to boost the taxation from casinos, bookmakers, lotteries, and sweepstakes, although many believe that a tenfold increase is somewhat a radical move.

The idea of such a staggering tax increase was first mentioned a year and a half ago and was soon followed by a proposal to introduce a 10% revenue taxes for the holders of online betting licenses. Another suggestion was to impose a mandatory contribution for all bookmakers in the country.

Gaming revenue of land-based operators in Russia is not subject to taxation. Instead, they pay fixed fees for each table or gaming machines on their premises, as well as for each retail they own.

At this moment, there are 12 officially approved online betting operators in Russia, and this number could definitely be larger, but many interested companies fear the upcoming regulations and tax laws.

New Online Betting Service

In related news, Russian public sports broadcaster Match TV recently announced it would launch its own online betting service called Match Stavka.

The service is scheduled to be launched early next year, and in the meantime, Match TV is looking for a new partner.

The new partner will have the task of building the Match Stavka website, which will be fully operational in time for the FIFA World Cup 2018, held in Russia.

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