Russia reduces iGaming taxes

The government was pushing for stricter tax policies for the online sector.

Online gambling operators noted a 2 percent drop in tax policy.

Russia.- Online Russian bookmakers’ complaints were heard by the government and the tax policy was modified in favour of companies. As the Ministry of Finance was trying to impose a 10 percent of tax payment, the amount was slowly reduced to 1 percent, according to official reports issued yesterday.

Authorised sports betting operators for the online sector in Russia had threatened with leaving the market earlier 2016, once they heard they would have to contribute with 5 percent of their revenues. Last October, a new amendment in the iGaming law proposed to reduce the tax to 3 percent with a minimum payment of US $232,000; however, bookmakers also expressed their opposition.

The companies argued that the average profitability of operators are from 5 to 7 percent of bets it takes and a 5 to 3 percent of tax payment would reduce their incomes to half. Although the new measure is better than the previous plans, not every operator is happy with the tax policy.

As Calvin Ayre reported, Darina Denisov, president of the Bookmakers Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO), commented that operators would rather discuss with the government such measures before the announcement of “extreme tax proposals that cause such turmoil.” Furthermore, Nikolai Oganezov, the former president of the Bookmakers SRO added that “you can, of course, to some extent, be happy that the Ministry of Finance took the side of reality,” but the 1 percent tax “must be viewed in the totality of all taxes.”