by Antoni Majewski

Kazakhstan Introduces Stringent Gambling Reporting Requirements

The Kazakh government, in a significant move, has mandated all gambling operations within the nation to file direct reports detailing the gambling activities and profiles of Kazakhstani residents

Kazakhstan Introduces Stringent Gambling Reporting Requirements

This new directive, validated by the Mazhilis (Parliament), aims to integrate gambling reporting obligations into Kazakhstan’s Tax Code.

Key Aspects of the New Regulation

  • Detailed Reporting: Betting companies and totalizators are required to report bet sizes, losses, and winnings to tax authorities online.
  • Technology Integration: Gambling operators must integrate their software and hardware systems with those of the National Tax Authority for real-time user activity transmission.
  • Bank Compliance: National banks are to provide information on citizens’ gambling transactions, including balance transfers and transaction approvals, within ten days.

Broadening the Scope

  • Application to Banks: Banks must report on the processing of gambling transactions.
  • Focus on Youth and Debt Issues: The overhaul is a response to concerns raised by President Kassym Tokayev regarding gambling addiction among youth and related debt issues.

Comprehensive Legal Audit

  • President’s Directive: An examination of gambling laws, instructed by President Tokayev, led to the audit by Deputy Minister Yerzhan Erkinbayev.
  • Draft Amendments: Proposals include raising the gambling age limit to 25 and expanding criminal accountability for gaming establishments.
  • Regulatory History: Since independence in 1991, Kazakhstan has lacked a dedicated legislative framework for gaming, with only a single policy from 2007 regulating state-owned casinos in authorized zones.

Future Plans and Proposals

  • President’s Review: Tokayev is set to consider 62 suggestions related to lottery, gambling, and wagering activities.
  • No Separate Gambling Law Yet: Despite calls for change, there is no immediate plan to enact a separate gambling law.

Stricter Public Access

  • Ministry’s Involvement: The Ministry of Tourism and Sports confirmed plans to propose rules to tighten public access to gambling venues.
  • Protection Against Gambling: Deputy Minister Erkinbayev announced readiness to present suggestions on gambling protection.

Our Comment on the Article

Kazakhstan’s stringent new regulations on gambling operations signal a robust approach to mitigating the risks associated with gambling, particularly among the youth. Integrating reporting requirements with the National Tax Authority underscores the government’s commitment to closely monitor and control gambling activities. While this move could be seen as a response to growing concerns about gambling addiction and debt, it also highlights the complexities of regulating a sector that has operated without a comprehensive legal framework since the country’s independence.

The Kazakh government’s proactive stance, including the potential tightening of public access to gambling venues, suggests a keen awareness of the social and economic implications of gambling, balancing regulatory oversight with societal welfare.

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