Russian Federation Ministry of Finance Letter

THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
LETTER
July 13, 2010 N 03-05-04-05/04
  
 
The Department of tax and customs tariff policy in cooperation with the Department of financial policy considered the letter on taxation of the holding of poker tournaments and communicated to the next.
  
 
In accordance with article 4 of the Federal law of 29.12.2006 No. 244-FZ "On state regulation of activities on organization and conduct of gambling and on amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation" gambling recognized risk-based agreement on a prize, concluded by two or several participants of such agreement among themselves or with the organizer of gambling by the rules established by the organizer of gambling.
  
 
On the basis of the Order of the Ministry of sport, tourism and youth policy of the Russian Federation dated 20.07.2009 No. 517 "sports poker" is excluded from the all-Russian register of sports. This Order contains no provisions mandating termination of the activity of poker clubs.
 
 
In this regard, we believe that the organization of the activities of clubs may be interested parties in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
 
 
Taking into account the provisions of the Federal law of 29.12.2006 No. 244-FZ, in the case that the holding of poker tournaments are based on the appropriate agreement to win, the activity is gambling and therefore can be carried out exclusively in the gambling zones. 
 
In addition, the above-mentioned activities are subject to taxation in accordance with Chapter 29 of the Tax code of the Russian Federation (further - the Tax code). So, by virtue of article 366 of the Tax code poker table will be recognized as the object of taxation for the gambling tax. 
 
However, according to section 2 of article 366 of the Tax code each object of the taxation (poker table) is subject to registration with the tax authority at the place of installation of this facility not later than two days before the installation date of each object of taxation.
 
 
Meanwhile, in the case of organizing and conducting poker tournaments not provided for risk-based agreement on a prize, concluded by two or several participants of such agreement among themselves or with the organizer of the poker tournament according to the rules established by the organizer, the holding of poker tournaments can not be considered gambling and, therefore, can be done outside of gambling zones, and also in the gambling zones without tax registration poker tables.
 
  
Director of tax 
and customs tariff policy 
I. V. TRUNIN 
13.07.2010  
Review to the letter of the Ministry of Finance of Russia
  
 
Letter of the Ministry of Finance of Russia from July, 13th, 2010 N 03-05-04-05/04 is confirmed by the fact that the order of the Ministry of sport, tourism and youth policy of the Russian Federation dated 20.07.2009 No. 517 of sports excluded poker from the all-Russian registry of sports, i.e. ceased to be a sport only. This decision was taken because of gambling establishments, banned since July 1, 2009 out of gambling zones, began to camouflage their activities signs sports poker. 
 
However, those disciplines of poker, which officially was recognized by the state and considered for two years by the sport, as a result of the legal fact - the output of the register of sports were not gambling, and remained on the essence, content and rules of intellectual and useful games, along with chess, checkers, bridge, backgammon, etc. Now these varieties of poker are referred to as tournament poker, where people play with people and not subject to the Federal law of 29.12.2006 No. 244-FZ "On state regulation of activities on organization and conduct of gambling and on amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation", because the result of the game poker tournament depends mainly on the skill of the players, not from the risk – aggravating circumstance gambling, spelled out in article 4 of the act. The dependence of the result of the game in tournament poker is mostly skill, abilities and skills of players, and not from a risk and luck is confirmed by foreign practice, and mathematical studies about tournament poker in Russia, in particular the study of the State University "Higher school of Economics" and a number of other Russian and foreign institutions and scholars.
  
 
You should also agree with the letter of the Ministry of Finance of Russia that the current Russian legislation does not contain rules on compulsory termination of the activity of poker clubs.
  
 
Thus, from the point of view of existing legislation, the organization and conduct of tournaments tournament poker is not gambling, can be done outside of gambling zones.
  
 
However, the so-called kasinospill, or gambling, poker in which the game is carried out not between people, but against gambling institutions and the result of which depends on the risk should be treated as gambling under the Federal law of 29.12.2006 No. 244-FZ, and hence they can be carried out exclusively in the gambling zones. 
 
Letter of the Ministry of Finance in its status is not obligatory regulatory legal act, however, suggests that the debate regarding poker continues at the official level, and the position of poker as a respectable and useful mental games and intellectual abilities of people in our country are strengthened. 
 
Doctor of legal Sciences, Professor,
the Chairman of the Commission on sports law Association of lawyers of Russia
Alekseev S. V.
 
THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION LETTER