Gov’t made a third attempt to push for stricter gambling regulations

Gov’t made a third attempt to push for stricter gambling regulations

access_time2021-07-13 15:00:46

Georgian government is set  to introduce tough regulations for the gambling business for the third time. The first two attempts have failed and  such a profitable sector of the economy is still not regulated by the state.


According to the developers of the bill that failed in parliament in 2017, the document had not been adopted due to a powerful gambling lobby that pays large  amounts to the budget.


This time on July 12 the parliamentary committee on sector economy considered a draft amendment to the law on lotteries and gaming. Deputy Minister of Finance of Georgia Mikhail Dundua says that the goal of the project is to strengthen systemic control over gambling, the  corresponding changes will be made to several laws on gambling.


“Currently, many online gambling companies provide services to foreign countries, and if their activities within the country are more or less regulated, the foreign segment is not almost controlled. The state should be able to control their servers to know  how conscientiously they work. Apart from that, to gain the right to work in this field will cost GEL 100,000. The gambling definition will also be clearly defined, namely, what kinds  of services can be considered gambling, etc. "- the Deputy Minister says.


Mikhail Dundua believes that tightening control, especially over the foreign operations of gambling companies, will increase budget revenues, however,  the new regulations will not cut the number of employees in the gambling sector.


“This business  must be  controlled by the state, given that in most countries the gambling business is banned. We do not expect the situation on the market to worsen, moreover, we predict that the number of companies will increase  and the competition will intensify, ” the Deputy Minister of Finance notes.


The turnover of the gambling industry in Georgia is growing every year. In  2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic closed all gambling establishments,  the sector's turnover grew by 22% and amounted to 31.7 billion thanks to online games. In Georgia, gambling is the second largest business in terms of turnover  and lags behind only trade – GEL 40.6 billion.


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