Belarus Tries to Take Their Economy to the Next Level with iGaming Regulation

Lee R. - September 7, 2018

The incoming regulation in Belarus calls for an understanding of the historical context for which that regulation is being delivered and adapted.

Belarus has been in the news lately as it formulates guidelines for regulating online gambling and joining a worldwide professional community.


Belarus has been independent for quite some time, since gaining independence from the USSR in August of 1991.

The Republic has been experimenting with gambling legislation ever since.

In fact, two months after gaining independence Belarus officials immediately got after it by introducing legislation offering license applications to casino operators.

Traditional Appeal

As an untapped newly regulated market, operators invariably began taking a closer look at development in the region. What they saw was high demand.

Neighbourly Benefits

At the time. many wealthy Russians had turned to neighbouring Belarus as way to play over the border outside of the strict gambling controls prevalent in Russia.

Meanwhile, Belarus’ other neighbor Ukraine was experiencing similar restrictions to Russia’s, and so was also gravitating towards Belarus as a play haven.

Precedent Set

That status quo stretched almost 15 years, until at the beginning of 2005 the President of Belarus raised and tightened taxation for licensed operators serving Belarus players.  

Contemporary Landscape

Today, Belarus’ governing authority Sports and Tourism Ministry maintains responsibility for four categories of license, including lotteries, slots, bookmakers, and casinos, for which it has issued a total of 30 licenses.

A handful of operators are set to receive licensing for online play under new regulations set to kick in as of 2019.

Transitional Period

Belarus Deputy Tax and Duties Minister Vladmir Mukvich reports that a two year transitional period will conclude April 1, 2019, at which time Decree No.305 would implement strict protections for the vulnerable amongst the nation’s 10 million people.

Of the implementation, Mukvich previously explained, “this will be done not with the aim of minimising the number of facilities, but to provide maximum protection to the players.”


The rush to modernize in Belarus is effectively tempered by a need to control access, and an effective integration of thee dual priorities should not only help the Belarus economy but provide the groundwork for other emerging economies whose independence needs to be sustained by new sources of revenue. 



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