Bookmarker activities to be taxed in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 22 /Trend, I.Khalilova/

The Azerbaijani government plans to legalize the activities of bookmakers in the country. So, in 2010 they are expected to be involved in taxation. In the draft amendments to the Tax Code, which until 15 May will be submitted to Parliament, the bookmaker activities will be added to the scope of activities subject to simplified taxation system, a government source said on April 22.

"The ministry of finance and ministry of taxes have reached a general agreement to involve bookmakers in taxation. Currently the regulations for taxation of these activities are established.

According to preliminary data, given the profitability of the bookmaker activities, it is proposed to determine the tax rate at 10 percent of turnover, which would be the maximum rate applied to the simplified taxation system.

The tax rate for taxpayers in Baku under the simplified tax system is four percent, and in other cities and regions, as well as in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic - two percent. Currently, the tax under the simplified system is paid by individuals with an annual turnover of up to 90,000 manat and legal entities with an annual turnover of up to 150,000 manat.

The Youth and Sports Minister of Azerbaijan Azad Rahimov stated last year that the legalization of football betting will provide an opportunity to fill up the budget of football teams, and generally be a good financial help to domestic football. In Turkey, football betting is under full state control.

The legislation of the Azerbaijan Republic in 1998 prohibited the activities of gambling. The ban was based on the fact that the casino is contrary to moral values, national mentality. Under the Code of Administrative Violations, gambling (betting activities, casinos, etc.) is considered an administrative violation of public policy, security and morality. According to article 309 of the Code, persons engaged in such activities shall be fined 15,000 to 20,000 manat, and "rate" and the other property which is invested in gambling, should be confiscated.

Meanwhile, in order to improve gambling (horse championship) in the country, on 17 March 2010 Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers made amendments to the rules of the organization and conduct of gambling, the distribution of active funds and lottery fund.

According to the changes, the authorized employees of the State Securities Committee of the country have the right to inspect the facilities, organizing gambling, and receive the necessary information.

Official rate on April 22 is 0.8036 AZN/USD.

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