In Russia, the Ministry Of Finance has published proposed amendments for the nation’s gambling laws that could see bookmakers and tote operators required to hand over a significant portion of their quarterly proceeds for the development of sports.
According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief citing Russian news outlet Vedomosti, last year saw Vitaly Mutko, Minister For Sport, Tourism And Youth Policy, suggest a policy that would see bookmakers compelled to support the sports industry. His proposition was subsequently sculpted into legislation that would have seen operators obliged to make targeted contributions to federations, leagues or “other organized” sporting events under respective agreements once per quarter.
However, the latest amendments to these proposals would see the Ministry Of Finance charge a 3% quarterly revenue tax on all bookmakers and tote operators with the collected cash going straight into the federal coffers before being redistributed for the development of the nation’s sports.
Vedomosti reportedly cited Oleg Zhuravsky, Chairman for the First Self-Regulatory Organization Of Betting Companies, as criticizing the proposals by explaining that Russian bookmakers currently operate with a profitability percentage of between 5% to 7% and the new law would see them forced them to hand over about half of their profits.
“If they take away a significant share of it, how will the industry pay taxes,” Zhuravsky reportedly told Vedomosti.
There are some 31 legal bookmakers and tote operators in Russia and Zhuravsky reportedly declared that the passage of the draft amendments as they now stood could see the industry retreat into the shadows.
Nikolai Oganezov, Chairman for the Self-Regulatory Organization Association Of Bookmakers, reportedly confirmed these fears to Vedomosti and additionally declared that up to 25% of operators could go bust.
“This tax may be considered burdensome [but] I would even call it oppressive,” Oganezov reportedly told Vedomosti. “If the Ministry Of Finance proposals remain in their current form, many companies with low profitability will leave the market.”