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An Interesting Twist - Russia Receives No Profit from Lottery

25 November 1997

Moscow -- Head of the State Tax Service (STS) Alexander Pochinok has said Russia's lottery business, assessed at 26 to 27 billion roubles (4.4 to 4.7 billion dollars) a year, provides no revenue for the state coffers.

Pochinok was speaking at a conference on tax collection and said a recent examination of lotteries by tax authorities has shown that none of them complies with the rules of the game, and the prize money is considerably less than the announced figures, Pochinok said.

According to him, the right to hold lotteries should be given to consortiums which propose the most profitable conditions to the state.

"Thus, the state may guarantee that the rights will be observed," he said.

"Holding lotteries will be allowed only in a certain place and according to certain rules, and the state must have an interest," he stressed, adding that changes have been prepared in taxing lotteries and casinos.

The STS proposed that each gambling table at a casino be taxed one billion roubles a year (170,000 dollars), he said. About 650 tables are currently being run in Moscow, but the casinos pay no taxes saying they gain no profit.

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