Amid  the pandemic, gambling business turnover exceeded the 2019 levels

Amid the pandemic, gambling business turnover exceeded the 2019 levels

access_time2021-10-07 09:00:57

Amid  the pandemic, the gambling business turnover exceeded the 2019 levels and amounted to GEL 32 billion in 2020.


According to Sakstat, revenue from gaming grew in comparison with 2019 to GEL 6 billion. The gambling business in Georgia has been growing annually over the past 10 years, but during a pandemic in 2020 amid a complete stop of the economy, a sharp drop in incomes, the closure of casinos and the lack of foreign tourists, the sector's turnover reached record high.


The Internet is the main cause of the recent explosion of revenue in the gambling industry as  due to the closure of casinos, slot clubs and sweepstakes, gamblers switched to internet gambling. At the same time, despite the growth in the turnover of the gambling industry, jobs created by the sector has decreased – if in  2010 a total of 10,816 people were employed in the gambling business, in 2021- 9,864.


Staff cuts are caused by the restrictions in the gambling industry  and growing segment of Internet services, which do not require a large number of employees.


The average salary in the sector decreased by GEL 467 compared to 2019 and  amounted to GEL 1,599 per month.


Experts and politicians have recently spoken  about  an increase in the turnover of gambling as  devastating for the country.


Financier Zurab Kukuladze believes that gambling is a brake on the country's economy growth because  the gambling industry is one of the few sectors of the economy that does not have related areas to develop.


Moreover, amid a significant growth in the online segment, gambling does not create any jobs and pays minimal taxes, not to mention the devastating effects on addicted gamblers.


“The gambling business is not controlled in the country despite this is a specific sector to be under very strict regulation all over the world given  its dangerous social and economic consequences, ”he says.


Kukuladze adds that the fact  of growing revenues in the gambling business when real casinos were closed means a significant increase in the share of online gaming that is less regulated than casinos and sweepstakes.


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