Bookies Slam New Gambling Rules - Monday 27th of July 2009

Bookmakers said Tuesday that they were “shocked” about a State Duma initiative that would require them to drastically boost their charter capital, warning that the measure would run them out of business.

Legislation submitted to the Duma this week would require bookmakers to increase their charter capital from the current 100 million rubles ($3 million) to 600 million rubles ($18.5 million) and the value of their net assets from the current 100 million rubles to 600 million rubles.

“The initiative is aimed at protecting the rights of consumers,” said Yevgeny Fyodorov, a co-author of the bill and chairman of the Duma’s Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship Committee.

He said the bill would bar unfair players from the bookmaker business, which is one of the few types of gambling that remains legal after a law came into force on July 1 that restricts casinos and slot machine halls to four far-flung regions.

Bookmakers said the change, if approved, would force them to close.

“The bookmakers are shocked,” said Oleg Zhuravsky, head of the National Association of Bookmakers. “If the amendments are embraced, we will have to shut down.”

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