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.
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.
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.