Armenia passes law amendment increasing taxes on bookmakers, sweepstakes and online games

Armenia passes law amendment increasing taxes on bookmakers, sweepstakes and online games

Armenia’s parliament passed on Friday by a vote of 60 to 6 abstentions, in the second and final reading, a set of amendments to the state tax law. The new rules provide for an increase in the state tax, established for bookmakers, sweepstakes, and online games with winnings. The law will come into force on July 1. 

According to Deputy Minister of Finance Arman Poghosyan, the sector’s turnover has grown dramatically since 2017, from 140 billion drams ($355,8 million) to 4.2 trillion drams ($10.6 billion) in the first 9 months of this year.

The amendments revise the licenses provided to these companies and introduce a quota system, reports news agency Arka. In particular, a company organizing Internet gambling with winnings will have to buy from the state the right to accept bets worth 100 billion drams ($254.1 million) and pay 175 million drams ($444,797) in duty for every 100 billion.

The system for sweepstakes is different. For the right to accept bets of 50 million drams ($127,085), they will have to pay an additional 5 million drams ($12,708).

According to local news, the proposed changes are expected to generate additional revenues of 10 billion drams ($25.4 million) annually, except for 2023, as the law is to enter into force on July 1. 

In May, the Armenian parliament approved a bill banning the use of cash for gambling. The legislation prohibits the use of cash for betting and gaming, extending that to cover the use of electronic cash and payment terminals. Gambling payments are only permitted using card. Winnings must also be paid out electronically via bank transfer.