Armenia’s parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of increasing the state duty fee for bookmakers, sweepstakes and online games.
The vote on a set of amendments to the Law on State Duty, which introduces a new quota system for taxes on operators receiving large amounts of wagers, passed by 60 to six abstentions on December 16.
The proposed changes are expected to generate an additional AMD10bn (€24m) for the state annually.
Deputy finance minister Arman Poghosyan said the changes were needed in response to the dramatic growth in industry turnover since 2017, claiming it had increased from AMD140bn to AMD4.2trn in the first nine months of 2022.
Approval of the amendments followed discussions in parliament on a package of legislative initiatives in their second reading, including “Amendments to the Law on Lotteries” and “Amendments to the Law on Gambling Games, Internet Winning Games and Casinos”.
The whole package of legal changes to the gambling industry was also approved on December 16.
During the discussions, Poghosyan explained that the aim of the gambling regulation package is to increase the tax burden for two types of activities in the gambling sector — online games and totalisers.
Poghosyan noted the proposals had not been changed from their first reading, as no proposals were presented.
No changes were proposed in part because legislator Tsovinar Vardanyan presented a positive review of the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs to parliament on the planned amendments.
Online gambling operators will have to pay the state ADM175m (€417,410) in duty for every AMD100bn (€238m) they accept, according to local media reports.
Sweepstakes will have to pay AMD5m for the right to accept AMD50m.
The changes will enter into force on July 1, 2023.