How to promote betting and gambling: March 2023

Publication date: 31 Mar 2023

In March 2023, many countries around the world continued regulating the gambling sector. The new rules concern player protection and cost controls, the introduction of new taxes and levies and a ban on gambling and betting advertising.  You can read all the details in our new selection “How to promote betting and gambling: March 2023”.

A struggle for gambling advertising has begun in Belgium. Recall that from 1 July 2023 any advertising of gambling and betting will be banned in the country. However, leading sports organizations in the country disagree with this. Local football, hockey and basketball federations claim that restrictions on advertising will lead to a significant drop in revenues. The athletes’ representatives are ready to challenge the government’s decision and are preparing to take legal action.

In Brazil, the administration of new President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is considering introducing temporary regulation of sports betting. At the same time, another aspect of the regulation of betting companies in the country is being completed legislatively. Bookmakers will be required to open an official representative office in the country in order to continue legal operations in the country. Bookmakers who refuse to comply with the requirement for a legal presence in the country will be deemed illegal and will be unable to promote their brand and attract a Brazilian audience. As a reminder, the current Law 13.756/18 permits the acceptance of sports betting, but does not force operators to be based in Brazil. Consequently, many gambling organizers work from other countries and avoid tax payments.
Experts estimate that the introduction of sports betting regulation could bring in an estimated $1.16 billion annually in fees and taxes to the budget.

  • In March 2023, countries around the world calculated gambling profits. The main conclusion is that where online gambling and betting is legal, operators’ income and budget revenues are only increasing! How much money is made on online gambling around the world?

Another change in gambling legislation is planned in Georgia. Since 2022, the authorities are gradually tightening the rules for gambling in the country: it is forbidden to gamble and bet under 25 years old, public servants and socially unprotected people. Moreover, a total ban on casino and betting advertisements in state media was imposed, and tax on gambling business was increased.
Now Georgian authorities wish to introduce additional licensing for online gambling: the new permit will cost $36,900.
Head of the Georgian Gambling Association (GGA) Giorgi Mamulaishvili has already stated that the increase of fees will lead to cost optimization. Previous toughening of gambling regulations has already led to the emergence of a large number of unlicensed operators in the Georgian market. Meanwhile, licensed gambling and betting operators are properly paying taxes: at the end of 2022, the state budget received a record 225 million dollars, or 65% more than in 2021. Another 62 million dollars were paid to the budget as fees for licences and other fees.

In Spain, ministers have approved the “Royal Decree on Responsible Gambling Environment”. Player protection will now take place at the federal level.
Spanish gambling operators have been made responsible for controlling players’ expenses. If within 3 weeks the lost amount reaches €600 (or €200 for players under 25) then the player will be classed as a risk group. After that, additional measures to protect against potential harm will come into effect. Operators must first contact the customer and after 72 hours they can block his account. At-risk players will also receive warnings about risky behaviour, monthly gambling cost notifications, will not be able to use credit cards and become members of VIP loyalty programmes.
In case of violation or failure to comply with these measures, operators can be fined up to €50 million or lose their licences.  

Kazakhstan has published a regulation on the procedure for launching new and upgrading existing projects for major investors. In particular, the document includes a list of activities prohibited for investment. Among the other 14 activities banned are investments in Kazakhstan’s gambling sector, conducting lotteries and mining projects.
On 29 March 2023, the government of Kazakhstan resigned. The documents it has adopted may be abolished in the future.

Russia has prepared amendments to the law on the organization of bookmaker’s offices. The amendments to the law introduce new penalties: for late or incomplete payment of target deductions, as well as for evasion of targeted deductions.

  • In the first case, the penalties will amount to 1.5-2% of the revenue for the quarter preceding the violation.
  • If the bookmaker has not paid the earmarked contributions at all, a penalty will have to be imposed: from 2.5% to 5% of the revenue of the preceding quarter.

In addition to the fine, Russian bookmakers will be required to remit the full amount of the required targeted deductions.

At the same time, in March 2023, the Russian Federation intensified efforts to deal with illegal casino advertising. Safe Internet League has created a list of bloggers, who illegally advertise casino. Roskomnadzor has forwarded the list to the Investigative Committee, which must decide whether to initiate criminal proceedings under Article 171.2 of the Criminal Code (“Illegal organisation and conduct of gambling”). The fine for the offence is up to 500,000 roubles.

In the USA, the development of online sports betting market may slow down in the near future. Deutsche Bank experts found out that despite all the advantages of legalization, the betting market is under enormous external pressure. At the moment, all the approval stages of the bills take a considerable amount of time, but even after that they will not necessarily be approved. All this leads to top companies lowering their expectations and reducing their investment in the US business.

Ukraine has imposed sanctions against Russian bookmakers: Parimatch, 1xBet, Betwinner and others. They are banned from doing business and accepting bets for 50 years and from withdrawing assets.
It is possible that in May 2023 sanctions against these bookmakers will be introduced in the European Union. Members of the European Commission are now preparing the relevant documents, after which the Council of Europe will have to vote and make its decision on the matter.


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