State Duma to consider gambling bills

A bills package regulating the gambling industry will be considered by the State Duma in its first reading on March 10, 2006, according to the State Duma’s schedule for March 10-24 approved today.

The draft gambling industry bill stiffens the requirements imposed on this market’s participants. In the event that the bill is passed, in order to open a casino or a gambling house, a bank security of RUR300m (approx. USD 10.6m), and RUR 150m (approx. USD 5.3m) in equity capital are required. Winnings must comprise no less than 80 percent of play. The bill also sets stricter requirements governing the facilities in which gambling houses and casinos may be established, and introduces mandatory licensing for such institutions.

A bill canceling licensing of gambling equipment production for the next 6 months will also be considered in its third reading.