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Russia’s Ministry of Finance calls for tenfold gambling tax hike

George Miller

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Russia’s Ministry of Finance calls for tenfold gambling tax hike
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Russian land-based and online gambling operators are reeling after the government confirmed plans to gradually raise gaming taxes by a factor of 10.

 

On Friday, Russia’s Ministry of Finance published a notice on its website indicating draft guidelines for its budget, tax and customs tariff policy for 2018 through 2020. The notice includes plans to double gaming taxes starting January 1, 2018, with further increases to follow gradually until 2020, by which time the gambling tax rates will have increased “by 10 times.”

The Ministry notes that gambling taxes haven’t increased since January 1, 2004, and that the hikes are required “in order to increase the revenues of the budgets of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.” The taxes are to be applied on a regional basis and paid where gambling companies’ operations are situated.

Russia has been looking for ways to boost its gambling tax take from casinos, bookmakers, lotteries and sweepstakes, which is why Friday’s notice calls for “the introduction of new objects of taxation of the tax on gambling; the processing center for interactive betting shop bets, the processing center of interactive betting rates.”

The Ministry first publicly mused about the tenfold tax hike a year and a half ago. This was followed by a proposal to boost online sports betting duties by a factor of 100, to impose a 10% revenue tax for the country’s new online betting licensees, and for bookmakers to make mandatory contributions toward the nation’s sporting bodies.

Russia’s land-based operators don’t currently pay tax on their gaming revenue, but pay flat fees for each gaming table or electronic gambling machine. Land-based bookmakers also pay a flat fee for each retail outlet under their control.

RUSSIA’S ESPN SEEKS ONLINE BETTING PARTNER
The specter of Vladimir Putin putting his hand deeper into bookmakers’ pockets isn’t scaring off companies interested in joining Russia’s current dirty dozen officially approved online betting licensees. This week, Russia’s public sports broadcaster Match TV announced it planned to launch its own online betting service, Match Stavka (‘Match Betting’). early next year.

According to a Kommersant report, Match TV has launched a tender for an online betting technology partner to build its website in time for the start of next year’s FIFA World Cup, which is being held in Russia for the first time. The deal effectively makes this a branding exercise, with the technology partner required to supply everything but the site’s name and logo. Interested parties have only until October 12 to express their interest.

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Blueprint boosts Power 4 Slots™ series with Tomb of Dead adventure slot

George Miller

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Blueprint boosts Power 4 Slots™ series with Tomb of Dead adventure slot
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Blueprint Gaming’s latest slot release to feature the increasingly popular Power 4 Slots™ mechanic takes players on an epic journey to the Tomb of Dead, where mystery and untold riches can be found.

The leading developer’s latest creation brings a twist to the classic Egyptian adventure-themed slot, with the Power 4 Slots™ functionality delivering four active sets of reels and providing more chances of securing Free Spins.

During the main game, the striking tomb symbol acts as both a wild and scatter symbol. Upon entering the bonus feature, players spin the wheel to determine the number of Free Spins and the chance to open up four reel windows for even bigger wins. In addition, special expanding symbols feature throughout the bonus round to add more excitement in this enthralling journey to the unknown.

Tomb of Dead is the latest addition to Blueprint’s growing series of Power 4 Slots™ titles and follows on from RTG games Eye of Horus and Fishin’ Frenzy incorporating the innovative functionality. The concept has attracted the interest of players across Europe with Blueprint’s previous releases proving highly successful.

Jo Purvis, Director of Marketing and Relationships at Blueprint Gaming, said: “We’re continuing to hit the ground running in 2021 by launching Tomb of Dead, the latest Blueprint title to feature Power 4 Slots™ that promises an exciting gameplay.

“Since launching the concept last year, the mechanic has become a real hit with a wide range of players. This latest creation will be hugely appealing to Free Spins fans and those who simply love an Egyptian-themed slot game.”

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iSoftBet agrees SignorBet content deal

George Miller

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iSoftBet agrees SignorBet content deal
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Italian operator to integrate iSoftBet’s best performing content headlined by Hold & Win and Megaways products

iSoftBet, the leading online games supplier and content aggregator, has signed a wide-ranging deal with Italian operator SignorBet to integrate its best performing proprietary and licensed slot content.

SignorBet, one of the leading brands in the regulated Italian market, will offer its customers some of iSoftBet’s biggest and most popular slot games including Gold Digger and Aztec Gold Megaways™.

iSoftBet has released several innovative products in recent months, with its Hold & Win and Megaways titles appealing to a wide range of players. Building on that further, it launched Queen of Wonderland Megaways in Q4 2020. As part of its Twisted Tales series of slots the game marries both Hold & Win elements and Megaways unlimited multiplier free spins to give a completely new, engaging igaming experience.

The provider’s offering continues to grow in stature, with recent hit Mighty Stallion Hold & Win added to a packed roadmap of multiple new releases a month, all of which will be added to SignorBet’s online casino upon release.

iSoftBet is currently active in 19 regulated markets across the globe and provides some of the biggest iGaming operators with a huge variety of top-performing titles and the quickest route to market. The company prides itself on its regulatory speed to market, and was among the first entrants in the Swiss and German markets following regulatory reform.

Michael Probert, Chief Commercial Officer at iSoftBet, said: “Italy is a key regulated market for us so we’re thrilled to be able to expand our presence with SignorBet that will offer its players our best-in-class content.”

Cristiano Azzolini, Head of Casino, SignorBet.it, said: “iSoftBet is well known throughout the industry as one of the most innovative and engaging content and platform suppliers, so we’re delighted to bring their games to our customers who will be able to play some of the most exciting content on offer in 2021.”

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Pragmatic Play Set for a Mystical Adventure in Madame Destiny Megaways™

George Miller

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Pragmatic Play Set for a Mystical Adventure in Madame Destiny Megaways™
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Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the gaming industry, has released a new instalment in the Madame Destiny series with Madame Destiny Megaways™.

Pragmatic Play’s 7×6, highly volatile slot utilises the Megaways™ brand and provides players with 200,704 ways to win.

Immersed in Madame Destiny’s mystical realm, the mysterious soundtrack and enchanting visuals build suspense as players search for riches.

The latest title from Pragmatic Play follows the route of Great Rhino and The Dog House, taking a top-performing title from its existing portfolio and adding a host of new features, as well as the Megaways™ reel layout.

Three or more Scatter symbols trigger the Free Games Feature, where players are confronted with a wheel to be spun, which awards both the number of Free Spins awards and the starting Multiplier for the Bonus Round. All wins achieved in the Free Spins mode are multiplied by that awarded number.

Madame Destiny Megaways™ also contains the ability to purchase the bonus feature in certain jurisdictions.

Madame Destiny Megaways™ joins recent hits Congo Cash and Emerald King Rainbow Road among Pragmatic Play’s extensive library of slot games, with unique content aimed at players of all demographics.

Yossi Barzely, Chief Business Development Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “Madame Destiny Megaways™ takes one of our most exciting titles and reinvents it, adding new features, Megaways™ and more as players enjoy the next instalment in the Madame’s mystical world.

“Our portfolio continues to grow in diverse ways and upgrading our existing content has allowed us to reach more players and generate engaging gaming experiences.”

Pragmatic Play currently produces up to five new slot titles a month, while also delivering Live Casino and Bingo games as part of its multi-product portfolio, available through one single API.

 

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