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Recent changes to Kazakhstan’s sports betting law are likely to fuel black market gambling and slash tax revenue for the government, experts say.
Russia’s southern and western gaming zones have seen a flurry of activity over the past few months, while reports have emerged of new areas being considered for casino investment. Moscow designated four zones for casino gambling in 2009 in remote locations on the fringes of the country and outlawed gambling anywhere else. Since then, the zones have been expanded to six to include the Crimea and Sochi, the home of the 2014 Winter Olympics. While one of the original zones -- Azov City -- is expected to be closed down. According to reports more zones may be on the cards, raising question marks over the shifting sands of Russian regulation for foreign investors.
Russian bookmakers continue to struggle with a tangled web of regulations aimed at controlling the online market, with a new centralized online payments hub coming under fire for being overly complicated.
Russian gambling industry executives have lambasted a Finance Ministry proposal to raise gaming taxes, saying that such an initiative would "destroy the gambling business." To date, one of Russia's key draws for foreign investors has been its low taxation rate. If taxes rise tenfold as proposed, the industry will come to a standstill, participants say.