Armenian parliament approves gambling amendments

Armenia has passed a ban on offshore gambling.
Armenia has passed a ban on offshore gambling.

The amendments will change the structure of tax on gambling winnings in Armenia.

Armenia.- The Armenian parliament has approved further amendments to gambling legislation, including changes to the tax on customer winnings. The aim is to simplify the taxation process for smaller wins, and ensure gambling profits are “adequately taxed”.

Under the definitions of the amended legislation, the tax on gambling winnings for large wins and regular wins will vary. The former is defined as any win of more than 5 million Armenian drams (€11,000) and will face income tax of 5 per cent rather than the previous 10 per cent. Regular wins of any net win amount (winnings minus the bet placed) of under 5 million drams will be taxed at 10 per cent.

To simplify collection and compliance, gambling operators will act as tax agents for large wins, withholding 5 per cent of winnings at source. For smaller wins, tax authorities will calculate the winnings, with the 5 per cent tax to be applied on the submission of annual income declarations.

Babken Tunyan, chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee, said the measures aimed to provide clarity and consistency and to ensure that gambling profits “contribute to the national economy without imposing excessive burdens on citizens”.

Meanwhile, Armenia has banned the operation and advertising of offshore gambling and has created a new regulatory sub-division for certification and monitoring. Last year, the National Assembly implemented a ban on cash payments for online betting and gaming, allowing online gambling accounts to be topped up only using cards issued by nationally licensed banks.

The government says the move was designed to fight gambling addiction. It was was approved by the National Assembly in May 2022 after being proposed by Civil Party MPs Tsovinar Vardanyan and Gevorg Papoyan. However, a review by the Finance Committee was necessary because the rules modified regulations on financial management.

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