Russia faces gambling tax hike as Duma approves bill

10 November 2017

Russia’s State Duma has approved a draft bill on its first reading that could lead to an increase in the maximum tax levy on gaming tables and machines.

According to Casino Compendium, the bill sets out plans to increase the top levy per gaming table to 250,000 rubles (€3,600/$4,200), up from 125,000 rubles.

The draft bill also includes measures to raise the maximum tax levy on gaming machines in Russia from 7,500 rubles to 15,000 rubles.

However, in order for the bill to actually come into law, it must pass a further three readings in the State Duma, with the second of these scheduled to take place today (Friday).

In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin must approve and sign off on the bill to enable it to become law.

The proposed changes have been met with a somewhat mixed response from companies active in the Russian market with Summit Ascent Holdings, operator of the Tigre De Cristal casino in Artem, questioning if the changes are “legally enforceable”.

In a statement, Summit Ascent said: “It is too early for the board of directors of the Company to predict whether the above proposed changes will become legally enforceable.”

Summit Ascent also said that having held talks with representatives from the Primorsky Government, the special Gaming Zone in Russia, about the potential changes, it found that the regional government was keen to “maintain the tax rates at existing levels should the bill be enacted”.

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