Armenia passes gambling tax changes

The government said the change was necessary because turnover has increased.
The government said the change was necessary because turnover has increased.

The parliament has passed the final reading of amendments on state duty.

Armenia.- The country’s parliament has passed the second and final reading of amendments to the law on state duty. Approved with 60 votes in favour and 6 abstentions, the amendments include increases in duty for bookmaking, sweepstakes and online games.

The amendments, which passed the first reading earlier this month, make changes to gambling licences and introduce a quota system.

A company offering online gambling with winnings would have to buy the right to accept bets worth 100bn drams (€239.8m) and pay 175m drams (€419,800) in duty. The system for sweepstakes would be different. For the right to accept bets of up to 50m drams, operators would have to pay an additional 5m drams.

Deputy minister of finance Arman Poghosyan said that the increase in tax was necessary because gambling turnover had risen dramatically, from 140bn drams in 2017 to 4.2tr drams in the first nine months of this year. The changes are expected to generate additional revenues of 10bn drams per year from 2024. They will enter force on July 1, 2023.

In May, the Armenian parliament approved a bill banning the use of cash for gambling. The legislation prohibits the use of cash for betting and gaming, extending that to cover the use of electronic cash and payment terminals. Gambling payments are only permitted using card. Winnings must also be paid out electronically via bank transfer.

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