Tigre de Cristal’s operator, Summit Ascent, has reportedly expressed reservations about its future in the Primorye region given Russia’s increasingly heavy-handed approach to taxation.
In late November, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation that doubled taxes on Russian gaming operators, with further tax hikes on the cards until 2020, by which time rates will have risen tenfold.
On 4 December, Russian media quoted Primorye’s vice-governor Tatyana Kazantseva as claiming that Summit Ascent executives had expressed concern over the uncertainty of Russia’s tax regime, suggesting that representatives for the company has told her that Summit was prepared to “suspend their activity altogether”.
In addition to the rise on the top levy for gaming tables and machines, the company is also reportedly unhappy with the new legislation’s tax on gambling winnings.
Gamblers are now required to pay tax on winnings over RUB15,000 ($250) and gaming operators are required to deduct these winnings at source before returning them to the state.
Kazantseva added that the company had expressed concern about the impact of the newtax and the effect it could have on customer relations.