Russian bookies unhappy with new player tax proposal

News on 21 Jun 2015

A new proposal by the cash-strapped Russian government to legalise online sports betting and tax punters with winnings of over 4,000 rubles (about GBP 47) at 13 percent is meeting opposition from bookmaking associations.

The arguments against the proposal are that it is badly drafted and leaves questions hanging over the period in which the winnings are accrued, and how the government’s requirements can be practically enforced to prevent punters from opening betting accounts with myriad different bookies in order to stay under the 4,000 ruble level.

The proposal could backfire, encouraging punters to seek the services of non-Russian betting websites, some bookies claim, and turning them into tax-evading criminals.

There are also issues with players being taxed on winnings but not being allowed to claim losses, and whether bookmakers and the federal tax authorities have the capability to efficiently monitor and enforce the provisions of the proposed new law.

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