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