Russian Bookmakers’ Offshore Parent Structures to Be Banned

Russian Bookmakers’ Offshore Parent Structures to Be Banned

On March 2, the Government of Russia introduced a bill to the State Duma, toughening the requirements for gambling and lottery operators. The document does not allow to register parent structures of such companies in offshore areas.

13 Russian legal betting providers own firms registered abroad. The potential ban will be applied to company registration in jurisdictions included in the list of offshore zones approved by the Ministry of Finance (Seychelles, the Republic of Liberia, the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, Bermudas, the Isle of Man etc.).

Legal entities of some other betting companies are registered in Cyprus. The Republic was excluded from the offshore area list in 2013.

Risks for bookmakers

What can gambling companies expect if the bill is adopted in the current version? Mariya Lepshikova, an expert in legal backing of gambling business, stresses that the non-observance of new rules can result in the cancellation of a betting license. However, it won’t happen immediately. “There is a certain procedure of suspension of a license (Article 29 of the Federal Law “About licensing”) and then cancellation,” the lawyer adds.

The new bill is aimed at the transparent gambling market

Similar provisions are already stipulated in the Federal Law “About banks and banking activity”. According to experts, a disadvantage of the bill is the absence of the period allowing betting providers to transform their operating processes in compliance with new rules.

The project goal is to make the gambling market more transparent and controlled by the authorities. If it is adopted, one will be able to track a chain of beneficiaries much easier.

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