The gambling facility may suspend operations over a new tax law in Russia.
According to local media, Tigre de Cristal could suspend operations in Russia if a new law that requires operators to collect taxes from its clients comes into force. PrimaMedia cited interim vice-governor of Primorye Tatyana Kazantseva.
The law signed last week by Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, those who offer gambling services are required to collect taxes on winnings that exceed US$253. This new measure will come into force in the first months of 2018.
Kazantseva said: “Recently, our only casino turned to us, to the governor, saying that they may suspend their activities altogether… not because of the recent increase in gambling tax rates… They are alarmed by the unsettled issue of taxation on wins.” The official added: “The fact is that they are not a tax agent for charging taxes, but recently they have been obliged to collect it. This is unrealistic and they are even ready to suspend their activities.”
In late October, the Ministry of Finance’s website also revealed the guidelines for its budget and taxes for 2018-2020, which established that gaming taxes are expected to double starting January 1, 2018, with further increases until 2020.
The Ministry said that gaming tax rates, which haven’t increased in 13 years, will increase 10 times by 2020 in order to increase revenue from official budgets. Land-based operators currently don’t pay any taxes on gaming revenue but they do pay flat fees for gaming tables or electronic gambling machines, whilst bookmakers pay a similar flat fee for each retail they have. The new regulations will be applied to both land-based and online gambling operators.
OneTouch unveils new Russian Poker release
Single-touch ergonomics make it perfect for on-the-go betting
Monday, 5th February 2018 – Premium games developer OneTouch will arrive at ICE 2018 armed with Russian Poker – it’s latest industry-leading online table game.
Russian Poker offers a unique version of player vs house poker, where the player is dealt five cards and is offered the chance to exchange cards or buy an additional card to make two five-card hands.
Players can also take insurance and buy the dealer a card if they don’t qualify with their opening five cards. This exciting version of casino poker is sure to be an online hit in Eastern European markets where the game had a large and loyal following in land-based casinos.
Matthew Rochman, Head of OneTouch, added: “We’re always looking to add a modern flair to traditional table games and that’s exactly what we have done with Russian Poker.
“The game is hugely popular in Eastern Europe and we are confident players will love our crystal-clear graphics and mobile-first approach as we bid to make it a modern-day classic.
“We believe we are the first company to deliver a state-of-the-art mobile version of Russian Poker and operators who have received been given a sneak preview of this games are excited and keen to add it to their portfolio in 2018.”
The decks are also shuffled using a Provably Fair RNG, allowing players to verify the integrity of the shuffling and cards dealt to them, creating a gaming experience which is both exciting, enjoyable and fair.
OneTouch’s full portfolio of titles, which also includes roulette, blackjack and baccarat, will all be available to demo on Stand S9-112 at ICE 2018.
Isle of Man-based OneTouch Technology Ltd develops premium table games for online casinos worldwide by combining innovative mobile-first designs with sharp single-touch interactivity to deliver a superior online gambling experience on both desktop and hand-held devices.
For more information, please visit www.onetouch.io
Greek Casinos Could Start Giving Loans
A new bill tabled in the Greek parliament on Monday could allow casinos to lend money to reliable customers to gamble.
In an omnibus bill being voted on Monday amid strikes and protests, there is a provision which will enable casinos to lend over 50,000 euros to select customers to continue playing if they need to, a Greek finance ministry source said.
This new law is aimed at foreign customers, to facilitate more spending in Greek casinos. The idea behind the bill is that studies show many gamblers decide on the place where they will spend their holidays on the presence of casinos where lines of credit are available.
These loans will not involve cash but special chips to be used exclusively inside a particular casino. To convert these special chips into money, any casino loan must have been repaid in full.
Chips will be counted as casino revenue, meaning gambling loans will be taxed, the finance ministry source added.
Plans to expand the availability of gambling in Greece have met opposition, with the local authorities in the Greek islands of Santorini and Crete recently hitting out at government plans to allow casinos to open on the popular tourist destinations.
Media reports from Crete say that local councils in the island are also preparing to launch a campaign against the casinos.
Greek’s Planned Regulatory Reform on Gambling Faces Growing Opposition
Greek casino officials voiced concerns earlier this week that the planned overhaul of the country’s gambling industry favors new casinos over existing ones.
A draft bill that calls for significant changes within the nation’s gambling sector is currently under consideration by the Greek government.
Among other things, the piece of legislation proposes a new licensing framework for the country’s casinos. According to officials at operational casinos the new regulatory regime creates better conditions for new industry stakeholders. Gambling executives also oppose the implementation of different corporate taxes for operators of existing venues and for newcomers.
The proposed scrapping of an entry fee for patrons is yet another provision that existing casinos have received with discontent. Under the draft bill, already operational gaming venues will first have to be given the nod from the Hellenic Gaming Commission in order to remove the entry fee. What is more, they will have to pay a compensation fee, which casino officials deem too high.
The sweeping gambling reform currently under consideration by lawmakers allows for the relocation of six existing casinos and the construction of three new casinos on the Greek islands of Mykonos, Crete, and Santorini. All three are popular tourist destinations and the opening of gambling venues is hoped to attract even a greater number of international travelers and boost Greece’s tourism industry and economy at a time when the country desperately needs additional revenue sources.
Mykonos Opposes the New Casino Proposal
News have emerged from Greece that officials from all three islands have opposed the proposal for the construction of gambling venues on their territories. However, it can be said that Mykonos officials have been most vocal in their discontent with the proposed gambling expansion.
Local media reported recently that Mykonos’ mayor, Konstantinos Koukas, has sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressing the island’s opposition to the casino plan. In his letter, Mr. Koukas has said that the island has much more pressing issues to address, including the addition of more schools, hospitals, and infrastructure. The letter further read that only after these issues are solved, they could think about building a casino.
Island officials have also stressed on the fact that while the Greek government had conducted public consultation on the proposed casino expansion and the Mykonos municipality had participated in it, its stance on the matter had clearly not been taken into consideration.
Last month, the Mykonos City Council approved a proposal for a referendum at which islanders would be able to voice their opinion on the matter. Councilors also decided to launch a petition against the casino proposal and to authorize Mayor Koukas to take legal action in relation to the government’s decision to potentially authorize the construction of a casino on the island, despite the growing opposition to the move.
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