RUSSIAN TAX HIKE PROPOSED FOR ONLINE BOOKMAKERS

Massive tax hike proposal receives first reading in Russian parliament.

Russia’s lower parliament, State Duma, has adopted a proposal that will see a monthly tax rate hike on online betting processing centres and totes (reception points) of 1900 percent from February 2017 amounting to between 2.5 and 3 million rubles (GBP 25,800 and GBP 30997,52), Russian business publication Vedomosti reports.

Tax levies currently stand at around 125,000 rubles per processing centre per month (GBP 1,291).

The Finance Ministry developed draft proposal which received its first reading in Parliament late last week was supported by the Committee on Budget and Taxes. 

There’s been no consultation in terms of the size of the business, so I can’t understand how this proposed tax rate was calculated,” Nicholas Oganezov, chairman of the board of Self-Regulatory Organisation of Bookmakers (SRO) said.  “When a business launches online, it is appropriate to set a lower rate as the operator does not have a database of participants or perhaps experience on the Internet – so the tax rate would deter them,” he said.

In addition, TSUPIS, a central processing centre for online bets that launched in February 2016 with the support of the SRO, would have the capability to fulfil the draft proposal’s requirement that online bookmakers keep records of all transactions.

The proposal still needs to get through another two readings in Parliament before being placed with Russian President Putin for his consideration.