This week brought another break for Russian sport betting providers, as the Russian government decided to reduce the size of mandatory taxes that bookmakers have to pay to support the sport bodies in the country. The latest reduction is the second time the government has tried to make the taxation fairer, after a series of appeals from bookmakers across the country.
The Russian government first announced taxation changes in March this year, when Russian operators were informed that they would have to set aside 5% of their sport betting and slot machine revenue to support the country’s sport federation, with a minimum payment limit of RUB 15 million per quarter, or more than US$230k. After appeals from concerned parties, the Duma decided to roll back the percentage to 3% in October but the pressure still didn’t subside, which lead them to take down the taxation to 1% of total land-based and online revenue.
While 1% doesn’t appear to be too large a sum, it is also only one part of the latest taxation efforts to increase the contribution of bookmakers in the Russian Federation to state coffers. This year alone, Russian operators were imposed a number of mandatory fees, including a 100% increase in online sportbetting duties and a 10% tax of their online betting revenue, which is why the initial proposal was met with such strong resistance.
However, as small a victory as it is, the latest reduction was met with relief from bookmakers. Konstantin Makarov, the CEO of Bingo Boom greeted the change by saying that even though 1% is still a substantial sum, the industry will be able to cover it.
For the time being, the 5% sum remains in the approved first reading of the legislation, while the revised taxation rate is yet to be included in future drafts.