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Changes in the legislation of the gambling business and cryptocurrencies as for February 2020

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In February, various countries saw changes in both cryptocurrency and gambling laws. The principles of taxing Bitcoin operations and working with it are changing significantly. And in some places, online gambling actively blocked by the government.

India is going to allow cryptocurrencies

For a long time, the directive of the Indian Central Bank RBI was in force in this country, which explicitly required banks not to conduct any operations on cryptocurrency exchange accounts at all. However, the other day, the Supreme Court of the country declared this directive unconstitutional, because RBI could not present any clear justification for its ban. However, it does not mean that thanks to this, all the problems of cryptocurrency trading will be resolved.

Firstly, although the court made its decision, it’s not the fact that it will be able to control which specific orders RBI sends to subordinate banks. It may turn out that the ban will not go anywhere, other justifications for refusing to transfer money to crypto-exchange accounts will simply be invented by RBI.

Secondly, the Indian government is currently working on a new ban, and much more stringent. If this ban succeeds in the end, then for mining or trading cryptos in India, you can even go to jail. Therefore, the crypto community is hoping that the Supreme Court will recognize this initiative as illegal.

In the meantime, this issue is being discussed, experts say that India annually loses a lot of money due to its inability to properly regulate this area.

China launches fight against cryptocurrency mining

The coronavirus epidemic, which everyone is hearing today, is used by the Chinese authorities and as an excuse to close cryptocurrency farms. Although such facilities are often located far from civilization and there are not many people working there, cases have already been recorded when the police demand to close the enterprise and turn off the equipment. All this greatly annoys the Chinese miners, who have not a simple life “thanks” to the virus.

Experts believe that if the harassment of the authorities is added to this, then many Chinese farms cannot stand it and close forever. This can strike a blow throughout the global crypto industry because it is in China up to 70% of the entire mass of Bitcoin is “produced“.

At the same time, mining has a beneficial effect on many provinces in China, especially those where there is a lot of cheap electricity and few jobs. Besides, from such activities, a good stream of taxes goes to the budget. So, the owners of mining farms hope that the massive closure of such facilities across the country will not happen.

However, if this happens, some of the Chinese miners already have a plan B – namely, to move to the United States. Although so far in China there are much lower taxes and lenient laws regarding mining, so no one is in a hurry to “move”.

Cryptocurrency taxes imposed around the world

At the time of the emergence of cryptocurrency, it was assumed that it was “separated from the state” and everyone who wants to work with it, won’t worry about any taxes. But today, alas, everything is not so simple: many developed countries (in which the most traders and miners are concentrated) have already introduced taxes on cryptocurrency, or are going to do it.

The most stringent laws in this regard are in the USA and Great Britain. By exchanging cryptocurrencies or making any other transactions with them, it is required to pay tax at a gigantic rate of 20 to 50%. But this is not enough: the law is not just written on paper; it is being actively enforced because regulatory authorities interact tightly with cryptocurrency exchanges and request information from them about all the actions of specific taxpayers.

This allows the tax service to independently “calculate” for each citizen the necessary amount of taxes.

In Europe, the situation is more favorable. At least, there is no need to pay tax when exchanging cryptocurrencies one for another and in transactions from one crypto wallet to another. Germany, however, took another step forward and forced its banks to actively work with cryptocurrencies.

By the way, taxes on cryptocurrencies in Europe are half as much as in the States and Britain: on average, this is 20% instead of 40-50%.

Online gambling actively blocking in different countries

Before opening an online casino or other gambling-related games, it is advisable to choose the right jurisdiction to avoid blocking of the online resource. Depending on the country, the level of risk will vary greatly.

Russia is one of the “harshest” countries in terms of this indicator. Not only are online casinos prohibited here, but also their blocking is put on stream. Roskomnadzor (one of the authority’s bodies in Russia) compiles a list of “objectionable” sites and sends them to Internet providers so that they restrict their customers’ access to these pages.

Even though the owners of online casinos quickly create copies and mirrors of their sites, Roskomnadzor has also developed a great speed of its activities. Therefore, in Russia, the risk of sudden blocking of any site is an order of magnitude higher than anywhere else.

In China, the situation is about the same, because all the traffic goes through the “Great Chinese Firewall.” In this regard, Chinese users do not see in the search results everything that they would like, but only resources approved by the state regulator.

It is noteworthy that not only certain gambling-related websites are blocked in China, but also Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yandex, and other Internet giants.

And given the fact that China and the Russian Federation are going to cooperate in the field of blocking online casinos, it is not safe to open such resources in both of these countries.

Serbia raises casino taxes

Currently, the Serbian parliament is considering a bill that provides for a change in the legislation in the field of gambling. It is noteworthy that it has not been reviewed for almost 10 years.

First of all, it is planned to change the tax rate. For online gambling (online casinos), the rate will increase from 5% to 15%, and for land-based establishments – up to 10%.

Moreover, if the bill is adopted, then land-based casinos will be able to obtain additional licenses. Today in all of Serbia there are only 2 such institutions, to which 10 more may be added if parliamentarians approve such changes.

Finally, Serbia also plans to “hunt” for illegal online casinos, which will create special electronic surveillance systems, which will block unwanted websites.

According to experts, the very presence of licensed online casinos in Serbia can be considered a sign of a good development of legislation in this area. However, at the moment, most of these institutions are foreign, which operate on the territory of Serbia. A problem is also a large number of “illegal immigrants”, which modern Internet technologies of Serbian regulators do not allow to block effectively.

After all, raising tax rates is unlikely to contribute to the desire of illegal online casinos to obtain legal status.

Please play responsibly. For more information and advice visit www.begambleaware.org




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