Kazakhstan scores own goal with sports betting changes

Kazakhstan scores own goal with sports betting changes
Courtesy: Lars Bo Nielsen/Unsplash

Recent changes to Kazakhstan’s sports betting law are likely to fuel black market gambling and slash tax revenue for the government, experts say. President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev signed the Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Gambling into law in July. The key provision is the removal of all betting points to two designated gambling zones – Kapshagai and Burabai. A proposal to create a third zone was abandoned by lawmakers.  Authorities also plan a unified betting centre and all bets will be accounted for in a single monitoring point. According to the government, this will boost tax collection and simplify controls It will also create a database of players that will help to deter tax avoidance and will introduce procedures for identifying problem gambling.  Under Kazakhstan’s laws, casinos are only allowed in the two designated zones. Sports betting is permitted, both through retail points and online as...

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