A new draft sports betting law adopted by Russia’s parliament last week has been described as being “very poor quality.”
The law, introduced on 13 November and adopted upon its first reading on 8 December, aims to revamp Russia’s sports betting regulations by creating a new gambling regulator and payment center, updating special contributions mechanisms and developing an online monitoring system to assist in gambling law enforcement.
In particular, the law would replace existing self-regulated organizations with a so-called Unified Gambling Regulator and Unified Payment System, while special contributions would be calculated on the basis of “quarterly income received by the sports betting operator from its activities in terms of accepting bets, interactive bets in relation to the sports competitions.”
There is no clear detail provided on how such income would be calculated other than stating that any special contributions should be equal to 1% of this income but no less than €56,000 for every Russian sports federation or league coming under the operator’s coverage.
Russian authorities have until 22 December to provide their comments on the draft law, however gaming consultancy firm 4H Agency has described the law as being of “very poor quality.”
4H, which specializes in helping gaming companies set up in new markets, added that the details contained within the draft law are “rather disappointing as this is the first draft law in discussion that resembles Western concepts at least to some extent.”
The Federal Tax Service revealed earlier this year that Russia’s licenses bookmakers recorded sales of RUB49.5 billion (US$675.4 million) in 2019, representing a 37.1% increase over sales of RUB36.1 billion (US$492.6 million) in 2018.