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New book about gambling, lottery and cards in the USSR ->
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Gaming Business Association asks everybody concerned with maintaining of civilized gaming business in Russia for cooperation

90% of luck

Hitting a jackpot may soon become quite a real prospect for those willing to spend their money in a slot location. Slot machines installed in casinos and slot locations will be inspected by taxation officials as for the average rate of winnings. But, to tell the truth, these controlling actions being implemented may have consequences unexpected for the inspectors themselves – new players getting involved in gambling.

Having come into effect this year, the law on state regulation of activities involved in gambling organization and arrangement, among other restrictions, allows using only the slot machines which have over 90% of technically installed rate of winnings. Taxation officials will check if the requirements provided by the law are being met, and the Ministry of Finance reminded about it in its letter addressed to the Federal Tax Service (FTS). Since January 1st, 2007, FTS has been authorized to inspect the technical condition of gaming equipment, including the right to check the technically installed average rate of slot machine winnings. Besides, taxation officials may petition for the closure of gambling facilities which fail to meet the law requirements.

It makes no secret that virtually the overall majority of column-shaped slot machines installed in the street, in shops and at public transport stops were reprogrammed. They let you win only minor amounts, and still after you lost ten times more. The exception was presented by slot halls at large casinos where they followed the winning rate of 70-80% installed by manufacturers.

The new rules will automatically cause the liquidation of both reprogrammed slot machines and slot machines in slot halls. An owner of the slot machine will have to produce to inspectors a document or a certificate proving the level of the technically installed average winning rate. The document shall contain a separate statement that the slot machine software does not imply any non-declared possibilities to change the winning rate in the course of its usage.

Now all machine owners will have either to replace their equipment, if the software does not allow modifying the initially installed winning rate, or obtaining a new certificate after the inspection.

Market participants say that the situation is complicated by the fact that in Russia there are only three institutions authorized to fulfill the certification. It is by far impossible to forecast how long it will take to re-issue a certificate.

Local equipment manufacturers confirm that they are ready to supply slot machines with certificates meeting the new law requirements. If a slot machine was bought in the Russian market, it will be easy to install in it the winning rate of 90%, needed to comply with the law, and to receive the required certificate, manufacturers say. It’s a different matter that in Russia, especially in its provinces, they operate lots of slot machines bought in China, not complying with the Russian law regulations. All these slot machines must be withdrawn.

Source: the Vremya Novostei

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The first English-language edition of Evgeny Kovtuns book Legal regulation of gambling in former USSR countries ->
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Igor Ballo: Law is always better than lawlessness ->

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