The 10% tax is on top of the recently announced RUB 2.5m to 3m (US $36,600 to $43,900) fees Russian bookies must pay each of the countrys 12 economic regions in order to accept online wagers from punters in those regions. The Ministrys notice states that the tax applies to sales, which most observers are reading as revenue, but the actual bill has yet to be published and some bookmakers have suggested the tax will apply to online betting turnover. Bookies have also recently been ordered to pay RUB 60m ($890k) per year to Russian sports federations. .
The notice of the new tax was published the same day that Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced that the government was hell bent on capturing some of the grey market revenue that was currently going untaxed.
Several bookies have gone on record as saying a 10% turnover tax would doom their online operations to unprofitability.
As if that wasnt bad enough, Russian bookmakers have expressed some confusion over what portion of their business will face the new 10% tax.
On Wednesday, Russias Ministry of Finance published a notice of its plans to amend federal law via the imposition of a 10% tax on online betting sales, effective December 2016. Siluanov didnt offer specifics on how he defined grey market gambling, but perhaps he was referring to the deathly pallor currently adorning bookmakers faces. Public comment on the proposal is being solicited until May 5. Oleg Zhuravsky, head of Liga Stavok, which became the first Russian betting operator to receive an official online sports betting license this year, likened the governments tax demands to a local parable about a farmer refusing to feed a donkey, while still demanding that the donkey perform his labors.
April 21, 2016
Russias bookmakers are blinking back disbelief after their government proposed yet another tax on their online activities. Other bookmakers complained that the governments recent moves have been conducted entirely without input from betting industry stakeholders, but, you know, Russia. Zhuravsky told Betting Business Russia that a 5% tax would be more palatable, while 2% would be even better