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Compliance Updates

Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling

Niji Narayan

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Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling
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Ukraine’s Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy has approved a 10% tax rate for all forms of gambling.

The committee considered bill 2713-d, put forward by committee chair Oleg Marusyak, to complement the Gambling Act that legalised various forms of gambling in Ukraine and was signed into law in August 2020.

This bill initially proposed a 5% GGR tax on bookmaking, 10% for online gambling and for lotteries and 12.5% for slot machines. However, the committee opted for a single rate on all verticals instead.

In addition, gambling winnings of more than eight months’ minimum wage (currently UAH48,000) will be taxed as income.

The country’s Gambling Act had also previously required that online betting and gaming licence fees start out three times higher than normal, and would only be lowered once an online player monitoring system is put in place. However, the new tax bill abolishes that requirement.

The Rada will still have to approve the new tax bill, after which it may be signed into law.

Baltics

Lithuanian Regulator Issues Fine for Illegal Ads on Basketball Website

Niji Narayan

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Lithuanian Regulator Issues Fine for Illegal Ads on Basketball Website
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Lithuania’s Gambling Supervisory Authority has fined an employee of a digital media business for placing illegal gambling ads on basketball news and information website Krepšinis.net, after a court confirmed its authority to take action.

The site was found to be hosting gambling ads with slogans and animated backgrounds, and featuring promotional bonuses, all of which are prohibited under Lithuanian regulations. These ads also lacked the mandatory warnings required in gambling ads.

The regulator said that Krepšinis.net had been a “refuge for illegal gambling advertising for several years.” This, it explained, was due to the site being registered outside of Lithuania, making it difficult to enforce advertising regulations.

However, the Vilnius City District Court ruled that advertising gambling in a way that contravenes Lithuanian law on the site is not permitted, as the site targets Lithuanian customers.

“With gambling advertised on Krepšinis.net, law-abiding Lithuanian portals found themselves in an unequal situation, and citizens were illegally encouraged to participate in gambling,” the regulator explained.

After conducting an investigation, the Gambling Supervisory Authority determined that the ads were placed by a business named UAB All Media Digital, which provides advertising services for websites. As a result, the employee responsible for placing the ads was fined €1500.

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Asia

Kerala High Court Refuses to Stay Ban on Online Rummy

Niji Narayan

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Kerala High Court Refuses to Stay Ban on Online Rummy
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The High Court of Kerala has rejected a petition from online gaming companies to stay the ordinance that makes playing online rummy for stakes a punishable offence.

The state of Kerala is sticking to the online rummy ban introduced in February despite complaints from gaming companies who note that land-based play of rummy is not banned.

Online gaming companies also noted that rummy is a game of skill and the amendment of section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act of 1960 only covered games of chance, not skill games.

According to local media, although the Kerala High Court stated that it does not agree with the complaint, it asked the Kerala Government to present a statement by May 29.

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Compliance Updates

Scout Gaming Appoints Irakli Budia as its New COO

Niji Narayan

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Scout Gaming Appoints Irakli Budia as its New COO
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Scout Gaming has announced the appointment of Irakli Budia as its new COO.

Irakli holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the Aschaffenburg University of Applied Science and has previously successfully been running operations on Fanteam. Irakli has been contracted by Scout for almost 2 years. Irakli Budia will replace Terje Bolstad.

“It feels amazing to be able to focus even more on the full group growth and to optimize the organization. My experience from running Fanteam will benefit the company when we now ramp up the pace further. It is amazing to be able to work with such a modern and internationally distributed organization,” Irakli Budia said.

The company has also announced the appointment of Bard M. Fladvad as its chief legal and compliance officer.

Bard M. Fladvad holds a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Bergen and will be leading the Legal and Compliance Department, and have the overall responsibility for the company’s regulatory affairs. The position is new within the Scout Gaming Group.

“I’m very impressed by what the team has built so far, and it feels rewarding to support the organization with my competence in order to build and secure structures for different legal matters,” Bard M. Fladvad said.

“I’m very happy to announce these additional recruits and would also like to thank Terje for an impressing work. Both Irakli and Bard will be key players when we are entering to our most intensive phase so far in pursuing the European DFS market,” Andreas Ternström, CEO of Scout Gaming, said.

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