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Russia overhauls sports betting legislation

Russia has approved legislation that will significantly overhaul its sports betting industry, imposing tax on bets placed on overseas events and extending financial obligations to all market participants. 

The State Duma passed the bill in the second and third reading, according to law firm Dentons.

The new rules pose limits on the types of events that can be wagered on, limiting activity to those held by Russian national sports federations and professional sports leagues. It also allows sports events held by international sports organizations, although Dentons says at present the definition of those organizations isn’t clear. 

Operators accepting bets on non-Russian sports will now be required to pay contributions to Russian sports federations, which amount to at least 5 percent of GGR every three months. 

An operator may have a license withdrawn if it fails to pay the relevant contributions within a three-month reporting period. 

Furthermore, it will no longer be possible to have a license on both sports betting and tote betting. 

The new rules also bring the first 14 sports betting licensees in line with the rest of the market when it comes to financial requirements. All licensees will now be required to have a RUB500 million bank guarantee and RUB1 billion of assets in place.  

This bill will enter into force 60 days after its official publication, with the measures expected to take effect in mid-autumn 2020.

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