New Taxes for Tajik Gambling Industry

Posted: January 29, 2014

Updated: October 4, 2017

New gambling taxation rules in Tajikistan clearly outline who is supposed to pay taxes for gambling and for what activities.

Last year, Tajik lawmakers have come up with a new taxation scheme for land-based and online casinos in Tajikistan based on the country’s Tax Code. The new edition of gambling tax laws and procedures has been approved by the Tax Committee of Tajik Government and has already come into effect.

The new guidelines have been written specifically for gambling operators, setting them apart from all other businesses in Tajikistan. Gambling business is an entrepreneurial activity, where companies profit from players wagering on a selection of games, which cannot be classified as services, property rights, or employment.

The newest editions of Tax Code and Tajik gambling laws clearly outline who is responsible for paying taxes after gambling activities. These are local legal entities or their representatives and affiliates, local representatives of foreign-based operators, as well as small entrepreneurs running gambling facilities.

What gambling establishments are to be taxed?

There’s much uncertainty with gambling in Tajikistan, where there’s a law banning all gambling, but it’s not in force yet, so gambling industry still exists. The newly enacted taxation guidelines outline the following as gambling facilities to be taxed: sports betting shops’ cashier, gambling tables, slot machines, lotteries, and even billiard tables and bowling alleys, where there are no real-money wagers at stake.

Moreover, local authorities may add to this list those activities, which in their opinion are used by businesses as sources of gambling income. Clearly such as system provides an opportunity to for local authorities to go wild. Imagine that a friendly tennis match, where the loser is buying a drink for the winner, will now be taxed as gambling.

Tajik lawmakers are still debating the law proposal, which could potentially ban all gambling in the country. However, for now gambling establishments exist in abundance and continue to thrive. With the new taxation rules, some of them will probably shut down, but until the Parliament passes the gambling ban, Tajiks are free to gamble at will.

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