The Ministry of Economic Development is preparing legislation to abolish the groups that represent licenced bookies’ interests.
Russia.- Online bookmakers in Russia are on alert as the government is getting ready to abolish self-regulatory organisations (SROs), which represent licenced operators’ interests in the country. According to the authorities, the three SROs are duplicating the Federal Tax Service’s (FTS) functions and wants to abolish them by Law.
The Ministry of Economic Development has announced it will propose a bill to take down the two SROs that represent bookmakers and the one that represents sweepstakes operators. Such plan has received support from the FTS, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank.
SROs run TSUPIS, centralised online payment hubs through which payments related to online betting are handled in order to ensure the authorities capacity to control the segment’s activity. The two related to betting (the First SRO of Russian Bookmakers and the Bookmakers SRO) were just set up a few years back and were created to set the ground for licensed bookmakers in the country.
According to former First SRO member Nikolai Oganezov, who is currently chairman of a bookmaking subcommittee of Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the government’s decision to push to abolish SROs is “very strange” and explained that, in case no system replaces the groups, it would lead to “market chaos and the dissolution of the TSUPIS” system.