Russia’s online bookies have received a postponement from the proposed regulatory changes; hoping that the government will change its mind regarding the new gambling bill that is set to come into effect.
A week ago it was the deadline for Russian legislators to submit amendments to Bill No. 1055657-7 that aims: i) to increase Russian bookmakers’ contributions to local sports, ii) to eliminate the two betting industry associations, iii) to create a new unified gambling regulator and, last but not least, iv) to establish a single hub for online betting payments.
However, the Ministry of Finance has proposed the extension of the deadline for the amendment of the new bill until January 22.
The bill was approved in its first reading earlier this month, however the Ministry is reportedly responding to concerns from both the betting industry and some government deputies; that the significant amendments proposed in the bill need more stakeholder input before further steps follow.
Betting licensees are afraid of handing over any single payment hub to a private operator, because they fear that it will take advantage of its monopoly in order to increase processing fees.
Furthermore, Russia’s attempts to prevent its citizens from gambling with internationally licensed sites will intensify. More specifically, in January the Central Bank of Russia will ask all e-wallets to submit any piece of information on individuals who open or close accounts.
Earlier this month, Qiwi Bank, a processor for international gambling sites, was prohibited from handling electronic payments for foreign merchants following a Central Bank audit.