Tax hike proposal gambles with Russian casino prospects

Russian gambling industry executives have lambasted a Finance Ministry proposal to raise gaming taxes, saying that such an initiative would “destroy the gambling business.” Russian business daily Kommersant last week reported possible measures being considered by the government to bring much-needed funds to the cash-strapped Russian budget. According to a government source, the Finance Ministry proposed to increase taxes on gambling businesses tenfold and make bookmakers deduct 10 percent of the proceeds from online betting. The necessary legislation is expected to be finalized by the end of 2016. No ministry official has openly confirmed Kommersant’s report. However, another influential business daily, Vedomosti, confirmed that this initiative would be among measures to improve budget revenues, which will be presented to the government for consideration this week. Primorye Territory tourism department head Konstantin Shestakov has since sought to reassure investors saying the information about the tenfold increase was not confirmed in phone calls made to...

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