BELARUS

Belarus gets ready to issue the first licenses for online casinos

Online gambling is now legal in Belarus. On April 1 gambling operators have been given the opportunity to legally register an online casino in Belarus, if appropriate license has been obtained.

Legislation currently does not prohibit Belarusians from online gambling on oversea websites. Belarusians also have access to newsletters and information about online casinos.

However, according to Marina Nevinkaya, the head of gambling department at the Belarus’ Ministry of Taxes and Duties, when the transition period ends, restrictions will appear in this field. “Publishing gambling content aimed at promotion and organizing unlicensed online gaming will be illegal beginning with April 1, 2021. Two years after the entry into force of the basic provisions of the decree number 305, access to the websites containing such information, will be limited,” the representative of the Ministry said.

Such a transitional period is necessary for the creation of licensed online gambling establishments in the Republic of Belarus in order to offer Belarusian consumers online betting services in accordance with the requirements stipulated by Decree No. 305.

In general, the gambling market of Belarus remains stable. According to the recent data (as for the end of March), 106 companies hold gambling business (last year there were 109), 94 license holders actually operate (which is 6 companies more compared with the same period of the last year). There are 391 gambling establishments in Belarus, including 27 casinos (the number has not changed), 176 gaming machine halls (increased by 9) and 188 betting offices (decreased by 4).

Andriey Nabukhotnyi

Former editor-in-chief of Ukrainian specialized magazine catalogue Entertainment Industry. Andriey is E-Play's observer of Eastern European gambling market.

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