Date: 14.06.2024

by Adam Dworak

Armenian Parliament Approves Amendments to Gambling Legislation

The Armenian parliament has approved further amendments to its gambling legislation, including significant changes to the tax on customer winnings. These amendments aim to simplify the taxation process for smaller wins and ensure gambling profits are “adequately taxed.”

Revised Taxation on Gambling Winnings

Under the new legislation, the tax on gambling winnings will vary depending on the size of the win. Large wins, defined as any win exceeding 5 million Armenian drams (€11,000), will now face an income tax rate of 5 percent, a reduction from the previous 10 percent. Regular wins, which include any net win amount (winnings minus the bet placed) under 5 million drams, will continue to be taxed at 10 percent.

To facilitate tax collection and compliance, gambling operators will act as tax agents for large wins, withholding 5 percent of winnings at the source. For smaller wins, tax authorities will calculate the winnings, and the 5 percent tax will be applied upon the submission of annual income declarations.

Babken Tunyan, chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee, commented on the amendments, stating, “The measures aim to provide clarity and consistency and to ensure that gambling profits contribute to the national economy without imposing excessive burdens on citizens.”

Banning Offshore Gambling Operations and Advertising

In addition to tax amendments, Armenia has banned the operation and advertising of offshore gambling. A new regulatory sub-division has been established to oversee certification and monitoring. This move aligns with last year’s implementation of a ban on cash payments for online betting and gaming, restricting top-ups of online gambling accounts to cards issued by nationally licensed banks.

The Armenian government asserts that these measures are designed to combat gambling addiction. The ban on cash payments was approved by the National Assembly in May 2022, following proposals by Civil Party MPs Tsovinar Vardanyan and Gevorg Papoyan. However, the Finance Committee’s review was necessary because the rules modified regulations on financial management.

The establishment of a new regulatory sub-division for certification and monitoring marks a significant step in strengthening Armenia’s oversight of the gambling industry. This sub-division will ensure that all gambling operations within Armenia comply with national standards and that offshore operators do not exploit regulatory loopholes.