The lottery used to be the only legal form of gambling for a long time, but Belarus eventually started opening up to other options. Since 2018, its government has been actively working on developing this type of entertainment further. As a result, many foreign operators have gone on to seize this opportunity.
One of the reasons why Belarusian legislators have decided to legalise gambling was to conquer the Russian market, where this activity has been banned — except in the designated areas, of course.
Types of Belarusian Gambling Licences
There are basically two types of licences you can get, depending on whether you want to open a land-based or online gambling business.
Gambling Law Advantages
Belarus officially legalised all forms of online gambling on April 1, 2019. As a result, operators can now offer a wide range of gambling options to online players, including online casino games and sports betting. On top of that, it’s legal to operate land-based sportsbooks and casinos, national lotteries, and slot machine halls.
It’s difficult to grasp the advantages that this gambling law offers at the moment since the online gambling market has been established relatively recently. However, the possible benefits will become clearer soon.
Key Requirements to Get a Licence
To open a casino in Belarus, operators must adhere to strict requirements, which differ depending on whether you want to open a land-based or online casino.
Let’s start with the ones referring to land-based gambling first.
- Every gambling property in the country needs to have a licence from the Tax and Duties Ministry (MNS).
- All technical equipment related to gambling must be certified by the Ministry of Taxes and Assessments.
- Only legally registered residents of Belarus are allowed to open a gambling business. Gambling licences are issued for a ten-year period.
- Gambling licences are issued for a ten-year period.
- All operators must provide maximum safety and fair play to the visitors of their gambling establishments.
Things are similar when it comes to online gambling platforms.
- Only the entities that are registered in Belarus are allowed to apply for an online gambling licence.
- The CEO’s primary employment must be related to the gambling business.
- The CEO is required to have a three-year experience in the gambling business industry.
- The operator needs to make a security deposit of $1 million to cover for possible financial insolvency.
- Every visitor to the online platform needs to be accurately identified.
- Operators need to connect their sites to a remote cashier system that will monitor their turnover.
License Cost and Taxes
To obtain a licence, the operator needs to pay the fee of 500 basic units. One basic unit equals 25.5 Belarusian rubles, which means a licence is approximately $4,900 at the moment.
There are plenty of additional taxes that you should be aware of if you want to obtain a Belarusian licence.
First of all, there’s a 4% income tax on player winnings. Land-based casinos are also required to pay around $2,500–$4,000 for every gaming table and approximately $100 for every slot.
Moreover, there has been an increase in all kinds of additional taxes recently, which has driven small casinos out of business. Tax revenues from operators have increased by 15% in the last four years, in addition to fixed rates for cash registers, slot machines, and gambling tables. The standard corporate income tax is 18%, whereas banks, insurance companies and forex companies need to pay 25%.
To apply for a gambling licence, you need to be a legal resident of Belarus. Furthermore, you need to have a company registered in this Eastern European country. You’ll have to provide all the necessary documentation to the Tax and Duties Ministry (Ministerstva pa padatkah i Deborah Respubliki Belarus).
Some of the documents you need to have are:
- Legal address of your gambling business;
- List of services to be provided;
- Tax registration data;
- Copies of organisational documents;
- Copies of registration documents for your legal entity;
- Fee payment receipt.
If you are not sure how to do this on your own, please ask us for help, and we’ll take care of all the red tape for you.
The licence needs to be renewed every 10 years.
If you need help or want to learn additional details about gambling licences in Belarus, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.