Local media reports from Belarus are that the national president, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, has signed into law a decree legalising online casino activity and increasing the minimum gambling age from18 to 21 years.
Corresponding Decree No. 305 was signed on 7 August, and permits operators to licence subject to regulations. These include:
* Operators must make a safety deposit in a special account which will be used to pay players in the event that the operator’s business fails;
* Tax authorities must be given unfettered remote access to operator management and finance systems;
* Licensed online casinos must be integrated into a centralised payment processing system;
* Operators are required to carry out identity and age checks on players;
* Punters visiting gambling establishments are not permitted to lend money to other gamblers;
* Operators are required to monitor gambling action in land venues via CCTV systems.
A government spokesman said that the new law will help to stem the flow of money to offshore operators by limiting the Belarusian citizens’ access to online games which are offered outside the national segment of the Internet. He added that enforcement will be strictly applied against unlicensed operators.