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Belarus Welcomes an Innovative iGaming Regulation ModelPublished August 14, 2018 by Lee R
Effective gaming legislation seeks to keep revenue flowing back into the economy.
Gambling is now officially legal in Belarus.
Set to Improve
Belarussian state-run media outlet BelTA reported last Wednesday that the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko signed the decree as part of a greater new legislation set to improve national gaming regulation.
Online Operations Permitted
Signed August 7th, the new law permits licensed establishments to conduct online gambling operations, with online casinos for the first time permitted to offer their services to citizens of Belarus.
Specific licensing and taxation laws set specific groundwork criteria for all licensees including both online casinos and land-based gaming parlours.
The minimum gambling age will be raised from 18 to 21. Further, land-based operations will be required to install video surveillance systems, while patrons will be prohibited from lending money to each other for gambling.
Operators will be required to make a guarantee deposit to fully cover customer winning, taxes and all other payouts in advance.
Further, before real money play online, all registering users will undergo identity checks before real money play.
This also paves the way for Belarus tax authorities to gain remote access to online casinos, with casinos required to participate in a special payments network transparent to local authorities.
Improving Local Economy
According to the BelTA report, the measures seek to cut down on financial outflow to offshore unlicensed gambling sites and pass along reduced tax savings to Belorussian operators.
Local activity should pick up as a result of the move through the stimulation of businesses to increase short-term gambling activities such as poker tournaments, games during weekends, etc.
Beyond adding gambling to local revenue, the legislation seeks to diversify if not transform the entire Belorussian economy, which has struggled for decades as a small, manufacturing-based economy.
The local government’s stated goal in encouraging in this manner the opening of new gambling operations is to shift a trend of overregulation that would lead to a tourism boost as well.
The new legislation in Belarus has the potential to show how some economies can use innovative regulation in newly welcomes sectors to improve their economies. The key test will be how effectively the new legislation addresses and prevents problem gambling to optimize the outcome of the bold new effort.