Belarus' Regulatory Solution: State-run Online Gambling PortalPublished July 15, 2014 by Lee R
A state-run online gambling portal will enable Belarus to monitor and tax domestic online operators.
Unlike most former Soviet countries, Belarus has always been open to gambling in general, rendering the small Republic particularly amenable and innovative when it comes to a state-run gambling model.
As of now, Belarus has announced its intentions set up and run its own government-sponsored online gambling portal which would provide users with direct web access to specific domestic-based online operators who have been licensed and will be taxed by the government.
According to Belarus Minister of Taxation Uladzimir Paluyan, these operators will have servers based within the legal physical limits of the country of Belarus.
One Year Projected Timetable
The portal is still under discussion within the Belarus Parliament, but Paluyan predicted to state newspapers that “this document will be passed this year,” after which “we will begin to implement its provisions in practice.”
Paluyan further encouraged development of the state-run portal, which he estimates will increase budget revenues for the government by an estimated $6 million within three years.
Belarus' General Gambling Background
Belarus is one of the only former Soviet Republics open to gambling. This is the country where Russia moved its gambling business after outlawing gambling in 2009, opening its physical casino Shangri-La as the first casino licensed by the Belarusian Ministry of Sport and Tourism.
Post-Soviet Las Vegas
Since then, there has been interest in Belarus to expand gambling and develop programs providing government benefits from gambling regulation, with some calling Belarus the “post-Soviet Las Vegas.”
Belarus Open to Gambling
This development stood in stark contrast to neighboring Russia and Ukraine, whose governments frowned upon gambling. The same type of cultural taboo has never existed in Belarus.
Belarus Legislative Climate
To protect its own interests, online gambling has remained illegal in Belarus, to prevent online operators from outside Belarus from signing up users in Belarus, which would have given rise to an unregulated online gambling market. For the same reason, Belarus citizens were not allowed to access foreign websites online.
Portal as Regulatory Model
The gambling portal is the model for Belarus' version of regulation, and the means by which Belarus will integrate all global web activity, within an effective computerized system of monitoring of taxable revenue activity that the government is satisfied with.