Belarus to launch licensing process for online gambling operators in 2019

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The President of the Republic of Belarus has signed a law that fully legalizes virtual gambling sites. According to the law “On the Legal Regulation of the Gambling Business”, the legalization of online casinos implies that operators obtain a license to conduct gambling business and create special taxation. The law will come into force in April 2019, at the same time Belarus will open the licensing process for online gambling operators.

Belarus has been thinking about the proposal to legalize online casinos for a long time. First of all, this proposal was motivated by the fact that the state loses much more from the ban than it gains, since gamblers turn to foreign resources that are formally banned in the country. The authorities suggested that instead of fighting virtual casinos, they could simply be made legal: Players, one way or another, have access to gambling sites on the network. And the law will help the state gain control over this area and significantly replenish its budget. After the entry into force of the law, gambling operators who want to start working in Belarus will need to obtain a license to conduct gambling business on the Internet. The licensing process will begin in 2019 and end in 2021. Also, the owners of sites with gambling will be required to acquire a deposit in a bank account. Such an account will be used both for budgeting and for solving problems related to the financial insolvency of the operator.
The law also informs about age restrictions. Players over the age of 18 will be able to access the virtual playgrounds. It is unlikely that such restrictions will greatly affect the visit, since gambling has previously been prohibited for players who have not reached the age of majority. Previously, the Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian authorities completely legalized all gambling, and thus developed a new profit channel. And the Latvian Lottery and Gambling Supervision Inspectorate published a report according to which gambling companies have been able to increase gambling profits by 11.5% since the beginning of 2018.

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