Minsk – new Las Vegas? State of gambling industry in Belarus
Gambling industry may considerably enrich the state treasury. The government of Belarus saw an opportunity in it. The country is mentioned among the countries that legalized gambling parlors two centuries ago. Since that time, the government has been uncertain about its attitude towards the gambling sphere. Read this article to get to know about the formation of the gambling industry in Belarus and its current state.
Formation of gambling business in Belarus
The starting point of the Belarusian casino is 1817. A noble Geydukevich conducted welcome receptions, balls, and drama shows. One of the halls of the mansion served a meeting point to play cards. Later, it was called Casino.
In Soviet times, gambling was prohibited. After the USSR dissolution, the first casino in Belarus appeared in 1992. In a couple of years, the state authorities forced entrepreneurs to obtain a license for this business.
In 2009, the government of the Russian Federation put a limit on gambling activities across the country, excluding several special zones. This decision propelled the industry in Belarus. There was no shortage of tourists in local casinos, and demand for such leisure remains high.
General state of gambling business in Belarus
As may be seen from the statistics, about 250 operators are engaged in gambling. More than a thousand entertainment houses are registered within the country. Let’s mention the financial crisis in 2014 when small casinos broke down under the competition. The lion’s share of them was absorbed by large gambling providers while others closed down or went underground. Since then, this business has become monopolized. It is beneficial to attendees because the service gets better, the game range grows more diversified, new various activities are introduced, and technical support is hi-quality and modern.
Locals are the most frequent visitors to home gambling facilities. Russian tourists comprise almost fifty percent of all the attendees. Besides, travel agencies offer casino tours to Belarus.
Gambling market offers a wide range of activities. All the interested may place a bet in a betting shop or a betting pool, try their luck in slot parlors, sit at a casino card table or buy a national lottery ticket.
How gambling business in Belarus is regulated at state level
The law of the Republic of Belarus provides that gambling is allowed only to legal entities registered in the country’s territory. Such a company has to be run by a person with management experience of not less than three years. What is more, the position should be the primary place of employment.
The Ministry of Tax and Duties of the Republic of Belarus controls gambling business in the country. It issues a gambling permit and certifies equipment. In case of rules violation, a licensee has six months to change the situation and pay the fine off. The sanctions vary from 50 to 1000 (and even more) base values depending on the violation severity. Base value is an economic coefficient used to calculate pension contributions, salary, taxes, and other types of payments.
In 2018, the President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko signed a decree legalizing online casino. Operators should obtain a license for own business and a security deposit. As given on infobank.by, the amount of money has to reach $1 m, which amounts to more than two million Belarusian rubles. This capital will be enough in case of bankruptcy to pay winnings and taxes.
Online casino is controlled by the Specialized Computer Cash System (SCCS), software that registers, analyzes and controls all the data on the transactions. It is also involved in money acceptance and payment.
The decree also stipulates a ban on a loan of casino tokens, money, and other gambling stuff. Free entrance to gambling venues is allowed to 21+ only showing a passport. This procedure is also needed to detect the blacklisted: cheaters and gambling addicts. The latter may submit an application about voluntary abandonment of gambling parlors. It is possible that relatives isolate gambling addicts from casino by means of the court.
Current state of gambling in Belarus
Casinos and related facilities are present all over the country. In Minsk alone, their number surpasses 30. In big cities, such parlors are mainly located in large entertainment centers. Their owners pay much attention to the service quality and equipment health. Attendees may choose entertainment to their preference: card games, traditional slots or roulette. Most of the gambling facilities are equipped with big screens to watch sports matches and tournaments as well as place bets. Besides these opportunities, there are lots of restaurants, hotels, concert halls, and a lot more.
Starting from 2018, gambling fans may have a great time staying home due to online casino legalization across the country. Users are offered a wide range of games on the Internet.
Gambling is a sort of a culture deeply rooted in the everyday life of the Belarusians. Casinos and clubs create lots of jobs. Gambling parlors attract tourists from the neighboring countries, which contributes to the state treasury. In spite of the state tough control, this business is high-demand and prosperous.