Belarus is apparently preparing, finally, to allow online gambling. According to a Belarus media outlet, BelTA, the country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, signed legislation on Tuesday that defines the gambling business. The legislation provides better definition to the industry, including the organization and administration of online gambling activity through a virtual casino.
Thanks to President Lukashenko, the country now has established procedures covering the licensing and taxation procedures for gambling. Belarus also now has created the conditions and requirements necessary to establish a gambling business.
Specifically, a license would be approved only following a deposit made into a designated account. This deposit, which wasn’t assigned an amount, would be used to cover any winnings and/or tax payments should the casino go belly up. Tax authorities would have to be given remote access to the establishment and a special computer system would have to be used to cover cash turnover related to the operation’s gambling activity.
No gambling would be allowed for anyone under 21 years old. This is an increase over the current 18-year minimum and applies to all casinos, brick-and-mortar or virtual. The legislation also indicates that casino visitors are now prohibited from giving money to others so that they can gamble and all gambling facilities must have video surveillance systems installed.
As a result of the latest changes to the country’s gambling laws, casinos will see their tax rates stay the same for at least three more years. This is welcome news, as many casinos were uncertain of what was in store for them regarding possible new taxes being levied on them.
The new laws also are designed to help another aspect—revenue generation. It should help keep money at home and reverse the tendency of locals to gamble online through sites that are located outside of Belarus. The result will be more money delivered to the country’s coffers
The bill was drafted by the country’s Minister of Taxes and Levies, Sergei Nalivaiko. There has been talk for some time that the gambling laws needed updating, and in July, BelTA reported that it anticipated the new bill to be accepted by the president and signed soon. It would appear that the media outlet was correct.