Alexander Lukashenko is the current president of Belarus. The president recently unveiled new legislation that will make online casinos and other gambling services legal within the country. The legislation is part of an effort to license and regulate online casino companies and create a more prosperous industry. As stated, this new document will only allow licensed operators to provide casinos online to Belarus’ citizens. The document includes specifics on acquiring a license and information regarding taxes applied to gambling. As a result, any offshore online casinos will have to abide by strict regulations to remain licensed. The decree regarding gambling online was signed by Lukashenko on the 7th of August.
Online Casinos in Belarus
Perhaps the most important part of the legislation is an increase in the legal gambling age. Any residents of Belarus that wish to gamble must now be 21 years of age instead of 18. The age restriction applies to land-based and online casinos. Betting venues will now be required to use video surveillance as part of the licensing terms. In addition, those who visit land-based destinations for gambling are not permitted to lend out money to a second person who wants to place bets. As far as online casinos are concerned, operators will have to provide a security deposit of sorts. The deposit will cover taxes and player winnings in case the online casino cannot pay off debts.
Every player who wishes to sign up at a casino online will have to go through an identity verification process. However, the check only applies when the player wants to use real money bets. Terms in the document also will give tax officials remote access to every licensed online casino. The features of such access remain unclear. Finally, every casino operating in Belarus will have to be part of a cashflow network that allows authorities to monitor from where and to where money is going.
Online Casino Revenue
The goal is to have more revenue from online casinos staying local. As a result, players in Belarus are expected to have more limited access to sites that are operating offshore. Local companies for online casinos can expect a considerable tax cut, while remote sites are looking at increased taxes. President Lukashenko and the Belorussian government hope that the new legislation will create a more diverse economic outlook.
The immediate benefits expected from the change include bigger events such as poker tournaments and the like. Belarus has long owed its economic growth to the manufacturing sector in the country, but the inclusion of online casinos may now help to boost another market with potential. The country is interested in growing the amount of tourism generated by attractions, which now only accounts for one percent of the GDP.