Belarus is an Eastern European state where most of the modern types of gambling are allowed. Now about a dozen land-based establishments operate on the territory of the country. There is no formal ban on online casinos in the Republic of Belarus. At the moment, the activities of gambling Internet resources are practically not regulated at the legislative level.
Gambling legislation of Belarus
Today in the Republic of Belarus there are the following regulations governing the gambling business:
- Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated January 10, 2005 No. 9 “On approval of the Regulation on the implementation of activities in the field of gambling business on the territory of the Republic of Belarus”;
- Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated 01.09.2010 No. 450 “On licensing certain types of activities”;
- Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of November 19, 2010 No. 599 “On some measures to improve the procedure for carrying out activities in the gambling business”;
- Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 12.01.2011 No. 31 “On approval of the Concept for the development of the gambling business in the Republic of Belarus”;
- Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of December 29, 2011 No. 1762 “On approval of the Regulations on the functioning of a special computer cash system providing control over the turnover in the gambling business, and a monitoring center in the gambling business for its maintenance”;
- Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 18.02.2011 No. 211 “On some measures to implement the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of 19 November 2010 No. 599”;
- Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of December 31, 2014 No. 44 “On approval of the Model rules of internal control exercised by organizers of gambling.”
According to Belarusian laws, there are three permitted types of gambling: casino games (cards, roulette, craps, etc.), slot machines and sweepstakes. All adult citizens can play in the casino. Belarusian laws allow players to independently restrict their access to gambling establishments for a period of 6 months to 3 years. To do this, you must write a corresponding statement, which cannot be withdrawn in the future. Casinos do not have the right to admit to gambling those who have independently limited this opportunity for themselves. The application can be submitted both by the player himself and by his close relatives.
Gambling business licensing in Belarus
The body authorized to issue gambling licenses in Belarus is the Ministry of Taxes and Levies (the Ministry of Taxes and Levies of the Republic of Belarus). To receive it, you must provide an application, which will indicate the coordinates of a legal entity planning activities in the field of gambling, a list of proposed services, data on tax registration. In addition, the licensee must attach to the application copies of the constituent and registration documents of the legal entity and a receipt for payment of the state duty.
The decision is made within 15 working days from the submission of the required package of documentation. The cost of issuing a license is 500 base units. It is a dynamic economic indicator that is formed from the current purchasing power of the national currency. A license to carry out activities in the field of gambling is issued in Belarus for 10 years.
Companies whose managers are employed in them at the main place of work, have at least 3 years of experience, and also have at their disposal premises with appropriate characteristics can expect to receive a license. The operator is obliged to organize the operation of the gambling establishment in accordance with all legal requirements, ensure the safety of players and comply with the guarantees of fair play.
Tax rates on gambling business in Belarus
In 2017, amendments were adopted, according to which, starting from 2019, new tax rates for land-based gambling establishments in Belarus will apply:
- 7140.95 BYR – on the gaming table;
- 241.53 BYR – for a slot machine;
- 2250 BYR – to the cashier of the tote;
- 1500 BYR – to the cashier of the bookmaker’s office.
Thus, for a slot machine, the amount of taxation remains unchanged, but for a gambling table it will increase from 6314.8 BYR, for a sweepstakes cashier from 1300 BYR, for a bookmaker’s cash desk from 6000 BYR.
Online casinos in Belarus
The Belarusian segment of the Internet is currently regulated only by the decree of President Alexander Lukashenko “On measures to improve the use of the national segment of the Internet.” It does not address any aspect of online casino operations. The only point indirectly related to virtual gambling in Belarus is an amendment to the law that allows bookmakers to accept bets via the Internet. The situation in this segment is twofold: there are no legal prohibitions on organizing online casinos, but there are no mechanisms to ensure the operation of sites of this format on a legal level.
In addition, MaxLine and Marathon bookmakers, 888 international virtual poker room are in demand among Belarusians.
The following slot machines are the most popular among Belarusian players:
- Book of Ra by Greentube
- Sizzling Hot by Greentube
- Crazy Monkey by Igrosoft;
- Gonzo’s Quest from NetEnt.
Gambling software developers
Belatra is the most popular Belarusian gambling software developer. This company has not released many slot machines, but many of them are familiar to most experienced players from Eastern Europe. We are talking about an ironic game about the inhabitants of the far north of Chukcha, a slot about the adventures of a magic frog Fairy Land, Lucky Drink and Alcatraz machines.
The Belatra manufacturer’s portfolio also includes the following developments:
- Africa Gold;
- Lucky Drink in Egypt;
- Piggy Bank;
- Princess of Swamp;
- The Elusive Gonzales;
- The Ghost Walks;
- The Spanish Armada.
Belatra has been operating for over 20 years. The head office is located in Minsk. There are also representative offices in Ukraine, Russia, Argentina and the USA.
Prospects for the development of gambling in Belarus
Despite the fact that Belarus does not have laws regulating online casinos, there is no reason to assume that the country will follow the example of its eastern European neighbors. If in Ukraine and Russia the first step towards regulating virtual gambling was a complete ban, in Belarus there is a different trend. In particular, in 2016, the Belarusian authorities came up with an initiative to create an offshore zone in the country, in which foreign virtual gambling operators could register their activities and host physical servers. At the moment, it has not yet received development, but the very fact of its appearance suggests that the Belarusian authorities do not intend to start regulating the work of online casinos with prohibitive measures.
As for land-based casinos, the sector is highly regulated and relatively stable. Restaurants in Minsk are very popular not only among local residents, but also among foreign guests who travel to Belarus for this very purpose. We are talking about players from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey and other countries.
So, the Republic of Belarus may well claim the status of one of the most friendly towards gambling and players. The laws are loyal and based not on prohibitions, but on reasonable restrictions.