Gaming industry news digest April 22-28

Estonia is thinking about restricting gambling advertising, the RF Ministry of Finance is worried about people who do not want to be involved in gambling, BK revenues in Russia have exceeded 500 billion, and BK Astrabet could not win a court case against the tax authorities. What gambling revenues in Georgia and when there will be a hearing on 1xStavka – read the Login Casino news digest.

Future Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets has proposed banning gambling ads, noting that restricting advertising would help combat the problem of gambling addiction, which is harmful to society and families. According to her, advertising laws are too loose for gambling operators who advertise their services around the clock.

The director of the association of gambling operators in the country expressed his willingness to cooperate with the Ministry of Economy and Communications to amend the advertising legislation and has scheduled a meeting with the head of the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulation Authority, which oversees the sector.

Under the new bill, citizens would be able to voluntarily include themselves in a registry of persons who have restricted themselves from gambling in order to prohibit BKs from accepting bets from them. Parents or guardians will also be able to include their loved ones on the registry.

To add themselves to the registry, citizens will need to submit an application and consent to have their personal information processed by the BC, which will then forward it to the registry. Betting companies accepting bets from citizens included in the register will be fined 300-500 thousand rubles. Once included in the register, the application can be withdrawn not earlier than six months after its inclusion in the register.

Revenue increased by 84% based on the indicators of 221 bookmakers. At the moment, the number of bookmakers operating in Russia has decreased to 14. The largest players in the market are BetBoom, Liga Stavok and Fonbet.

The only operator of payments between players and bookmakers, NKO Mobile Card, has also increased its income. Deposits and payments to customers also increased compared to last year, but it is not entirely clear whether fees and taxes are included in the payout figure.

In the litigation between the Moscow tax inspectorate No 27 and BC Astrabet (Bet-M LLC), the court of the first instance ruled in favor of the tax inspectorate. The company had not transferred the minimum required amount of target contributions for the final quarter of last year, which was found by the ERAI. The BC must transfer one and a half percent of the revenue for the reporting period to the development of sports in Russia. The ERAI ordered to eliminate the violation of Federal Law № 244-F3 from 30.01.2023 within ten calendar days, and this requirement was disputed in court by OOO Bet-M. The court rejected the claim of Bet-M LLC and confirmed the legality of the claim received from the FIRS.

Astrabet plans to resume accepting interactive betting in late spring or early summer 2023, as stated in their 2022 financial report.

According to the data in the arbitration database of cases, the application for the recognition of decisions and actions (inaction) as illegal, filed by the bookmaker 1xStavka (LLC Stavka RU), against the ERAI has been accepted for work. The hearing on the case is scheduled in the Arbitration Court of Moscow for May 18. The Federal Tax Service will also participate in the proceedings as a third party. In February this year the ERAI information system disconnected access to the 1xStavka bookmaker’s office, and that was probably the reason for going to court. In addition, since mid-January this year, 1xStavka has prohibited depositing accounts, registering accounts and access to betting. In addition, the company was excluded from the First SRO and removed from the Unified Center for IPOIS. BK has filed two suits against the United UPIS (NPO Mobile Card) but the reasons for the problems are still unknown.

At the beginning of 2023 the amount of taxes paid by gambling operators in Georgia increased by 45% compared to the previous year. The Treasury Department received $13.64 million, the most from taxes on casino gaming tables ($5.29 million) and gambling machines ($6.45 million).

Recall that the Georgian government is gradually tightening the industry regulation: among the measures – the ban on gambling of people under 25 years old, citizens, who are identified as socially unprotected, and civil servants, as well as an absolute ban on advertising gambling in state-media and raise taxes for gambling-companies. Last year the organizers of gambling activities in Georgia transferred to the state budget the maximum amount of $287 million.

In 2022 the operators of gambling paid to the state budget 4.17 million rubles in fines. Organizers lost 1.997 million Russian rubles on the illegal organization and conduct of games, of which 847.3 thousand rubles was claimed by the Interior Ministry and 1.15 million – by the Tax Service.

operators were also penalized Br1.174 million for non-compliance with the officially established rules of betting and other gambling activities. And the companies paid 1.003 million rubles for improperly registered gambling facilities.

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