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21 August 2018, 16:13

Online gambling unlikely to grow fast in Belarus

MINSK, 21 August (BelTA) – The Belarusian Tax and Duties Ministry does not forecast massive growth in online casinos in Belarus in the near future, Deputy Tax and Duties Minister Vladimir Mukvich told the media as he commented on Decree No.305 “On the legal regulations of gambling business”, BelTA informs.

The deputy minister said that such virtual institutions will be legalized in Belarus starting from 1 April 2019, when the basic norms of the decree come into force. Taking into account the world experience, the ministry assumes that there will be few of them. "We cannot say that there will be a large number of them in 2019-2020. We do not see any preconditions for such a trend,” he said.

As a regulator the Tax and Duties Ministry is interested in preventing online gambling to become a monopoly activity and expects applicants to be able to fulfill the requirements for organizing online casinos. For example, betting offices that accept bets online will need a new license (rules do not change for those who work with fixed cash registers). A transitional period for such offices will be provided through to 1 April 2021.

The decree envisages strict requirements for online gamblers taking into account the specific nature of the activity. One such requirement is the development of a so-called pledge fund, which, in the event of financial insolvency, will secure settlements with players and the budget. Such practices are world experience, said Vladimir Mukvich. The size of the fund has not yet been determined, but the decision on it will be made before the decree comes into force.

The protection of the personal data of online casino players is another area of utmost importance. Therefore, the law will envisage the certification of security systems, which can also cost a lot. “This will be done not for minimizing the number of such facilities but providing maximum protection to players," the deputy minister explained.

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