The initiative to ban online
at the first stage and a complete ban in the long term may cause the
closure of some independent media depending on online gambling advertising - the
head of the Georgian Gambling Association Giorgi Mamulaishvili says.
According to Mamulaishvili,
many businesses and companies are related to the gambling industry such as advertising
companies, media, sports programs, banks, financial institutions.
“Many people have a negative
attitude towards gambling, but this is not a reason to ban it. We’ll hail justified
and reasonable regulations, we are ready for dialogue and any consultations,"
Mamulaishvili believes that the
media, namely sports programs, will suffer most from the ban on online gambling.
“Sports programs are
funded by gambling advertising, moreover, sports channels, for example, Setanta
and several others, depend much more on gambling advertising,” Giorgi
He adds that gambling
companies have shown social responsibility in the past two years by abandoning outdoor advertising, so no one can
accuse them of promoting gambling in the vicinity of schools and educational
The head of the Association expresses
concern that this decision can call into question foreign investments into the
“Large companies pouring
money into the gambling business are very sensitive to any steps by the state,
including regulations and restrictions. Investors may lose interest in
investing in Georgia. Over the past three years, large foreign investments have
been made in the gambling sector. In 2018, in total GEL 71 million profit was
reinvested in the business development, in 2019 - 30 million, in 2020 - more
than GEL 32 million, ” the head of the Gambling Business Association explains.