Duma to Overhaul Sports Betting Legislation

russian state duma

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The Russian state, Duma is the country’s legislative body which started with an overhaul for sports betting laws. Recently, Duma has approved a significant overhaul of the country’s current betting laws.

Under the revised law, it will focus on taxation that is placed on overseas betting events along with increasing financial obligations on the participants involved in an activity. The legislative body approved the bill in the second and third readings. Now, certain limits will be imposed on specific betting events.

Upgradation in Russian Betting Laws

Sports betting in the country has been subjected to a number of new laws after Russia’s State Duma gave permission to make significant amendments. The bill 647044-7 came into existence in April 2020. The bill has changed federal regulation on the conduct of gambling as well as activities for the regulation.

Within its decree, the bill will enable the Kremlin to impose limits on certain types of sports events that permit wagering.

The law will also modify revamp taxes, where the operators would be required to pay taxes on a quarterly basis. Moreover, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin would be most likely to approve the bill in the upcoming months.

Financial Burden on Operators

The bill would allow the Kremlin to expand the financial obligation of the country’s sports betting licenses. The modifications stated that all Sportsbooks in the country will have to pay quarterly tax which will be around 5% of their gross gaming revenue. It will be mandatory on all domestic as well as international events. Prior to the introduction of the bill, taxes were applied only on domestic events.

The changes also stated that only licensed sportsbooks will be allowed to accept the wagers on sports events that are approved by official regional and foreign legislative bodies. It would also enable sports events that are sponsored by international sports organizations.

All the regulated betting operators will also be required to maintain liability of at least 500 million Rubles (€6 million) in the bank along with a RUB 1bn on net assets. These measures were approved because 14 sportsbooks were exempted from the liability clause. These 14 sportsbooks received their license before 2010 when there was no adoption of any sort of financial requirement.

At the current moment, there are over 20 betting operators that hold a license and are allowed to regulate in Russian markets. The SRO system of the government tracks and monitors all transactions that are made by each of these operators.

In addition, changes in the bill have also allowed the Kremlin to acquire new legislative powers. It includes direct termination or suspension of bookmaker license on their failure to pay tax obligations or register their wagering practices for a specified duration of six months.

The license will be withdrawn if any operator fails to pay the tax contribution within three months. Moreover, it will no longer be allowed to receive a license on the tote as well as sports betting.

Other Obligations for Sports Betting Operators

The legislation allows the government to introduce limits on the wagering of sports events. Sports betting operators in the country will be enabled to acquire bets on sports events that are approved by governing legislative bodies. An international law association, the CIS office of Dentons has issued some sports betting guidance when it overlooked the Russian betting landscape.

The guidance issued by Dentons includes that the bill will come into existence two months after the official publication. It will most likely happen after the president accepts the bill and when other technicalities are completed.

For timelines, Dentons is looking at new requirements that would take effect after two-three months in 2020.

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