Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan

Firstly, a brief history of sports betting in Kazakhstan is given.

After this, online sports betting and the taxation of winnings are discussed.

This is followed by an exploration of Kazakhstani online sites and ruminations on the future of the industry in the country.

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From No Gambling, to It’s Own Las Vegas Style Area

The Sport Betting business is now flourishing in Kazakhstan after a crackdown on casinos in 2007. A Central Asian country, it has an area of more than one million square miles making it the biggest landlocked nation around the globe. In 1991, when the republics broke away from Russia, it was the last to declare independence as it became part of Soviet Union in 1936.

Kazakhstan was a unitary republic after independence with only one president, Nursultan Nazarbayev since 1989. Within the country both Kazakh and Russian are recognised as official languages and people use tenge as their currency.

During the Soviet regime, gambling in all its forms was absolutely prohibited; a ban that changed and led to a gambling fever in Kazakhstan after independence. The newly acquired country’s liberty and wealth from oil reserves consequently made many gamblers occupy themselves with playing in casinos and other gaming houses throughout Kazakhstan.

Everything ended in 2007 when all the casinos and halls were ordered to relocate to two lakeside towns outside the cities of Almaty and Astana. The concept behind this was twofold – it was aimed at safeguarding the nation from gambling ‘hazards’ and developing regions like Las Vegas that would appeal to vacationers [1].

While some gamers were not happy about this, it also led to the rise of sports betting which was ignored in this move. As a result, several new bookmakers emerged all over the nation as well as other betting machines and automated terminals. Such firms targeted ordinary gamblers who could not make it to the casinos but could still risk some money on a soccer match [2].

The emergence of some licensed operators has seen sports betting tax revenue topped at over $5 million. Despite calls for stricter regulation, especially on underage gambling, the ABTK estimated that only 2% of people in Kazakhstan bet daily in 2013 [3].

Kazakhstan’s Online Sports Betting Runs Freely

The 2007 law forbade online gaming [4], Olympus was the only authorized operator that has emerged since then. This site and many international betting companies are available to Kazakhstan citizens as well. They do not fall under Kazakh law but they obtain licenses from other countries in the world and operate legally in their own territories.

There are numerous options to pick from, with competitive prices and a variety of offers and free bets because the government does not have any restrictions on these blocks.

The internet in Kazakhstan may be filtered selectively based upon the available evidence and mostly political situations, but this does not apply to gambling websites which have never been censored [5]. As of 2013, there had been discussions about blocking operators from foreign nations; however, nothing was done. Thus, gamblers who engage in sports betting in Kazakhstan are able to do so without any undue interference or obstacles.

Kazakhstan fans in National Arena

Taxes for Sports Bettors in Kazakhstan Are Non Existent

Gambling winnings are not subject to income tax in Kazakhstan; it is particularly true if you are using foreign sites which work in different jurisdictions.

Are Online Sports Books Accessible for Kazakhstan Residents?

Though there are not so many websites in Kazakh, you can select Russian if you like. Similar to Tenge, your balance would most likely have to be maintained and bets made in US dollars or Euros.

Making deposits and withdrawals in Kazakh bookies is a simple process. Most players prefer using either credit or debit cards, and both Visa and MasterCard are among the acceptable ones.

Sometimes you might face difficulties and hit a snag when trying to withdraw money back into your MasterCard, in these scenarios and others of the kind, it is likely that either a check or bank transfer could be requested.

E-wallets such as NETeller and Skrill are other banking alternatives that enable individuals to keep their money online and move it from one destination on the internet to another at will. Also, if you use several sites, these can be quite helpful since they could hold your funds in a currency of your choosing, thereby obviating the requirement for exchange rates.

There are a number of other prepaid options available locally, you may also want to ask the customer support which one is the best.

What Does the Future Have in Store?

There has been expressed worry about the rise of sports betting in Kazakhstan, as well as international sites infiltrating the nation but it doesn’t seem that there is much desire to change the law in the near future. This implies that bettors can keep on enjoying their favorite sports betting sites without limitations for many years to come.

References

[1] Kazakhstan Tackles Gambling Craze – BBC

It has never been easier to place a bet in Kazakhstan.

Astana thinking about imposing stricter regulations on the gambling sector – Eurasianet

[4] Changes in Kazakhstan – Intergame Online

[5] Kazakh Government – OpenNet Initiative

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