Kazakh gambling sector blasts proposed payment monopoly

The proposed system would affect the gambling and fintech sectors.
The proposed system would affect the gambling and fintech sectors.

The Kazakhstan Fair Gambling Campaign has critcised plans for a Unified Accounting System (UAS).

Kazakhstan.- Gambling operators in Kazakhstan have expressed concern about proposed legislation on a new system for the regulation of payments for the gambling and fintech sectors. The lobby group Kazakhstan Fair Gambling Campaign says the government has not consulted on plans to create a Unified Accounting System (UAS).

The centralised system mandated by president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev would give the government greater surveillance over gambling, but critics say the system would put payments in the hands of a private monopoly, comparing the proposal to the former Kazakhstan Betting Accounting Center (BAC) proposal, which was scrapped amid allegations of bribery involving a former vice minister.

Kazakhstan Fair Gambling Campaign said there was a lack of transparency around the structure and ownership of the UAS.

Irina Davidenko, a member of the Kazakh Association of Payment Organisations, suggested that the lower house rushed to include the proposal without consulting Kazakhstan’s National Bank. She said the move contradicted the general intention to reduce private intermediaries and violated the rights of payment organisations and banks since it would transform the market share of regulated payments.

Earlier this year, the government of Kazakhstan approved tax code amendments to require licensed gambling operators to report on customer gambling activity. Gambling operators must submit reports on customers directly to the State Revenue Committee (SRC) of the Ministry of Finance.

Betting and totalizator operators will need to integrate both hardware and software from the national tax agency in order to automatically report data on the size of bets, losses and winnings. Meanwhile, banks will have to provide data on transactions within a 10-day period, including transfers and the authorisation of transactions with gambling operators.   

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