Georgia once again tightened the rules for the industry, a year after the introduction of new gambling regulations. The Parliament has already started considering new amendments. According to them, ship-based casinos will be banned in the country, as well as new additional permissions will be required for online gambling operators.
According to the document, the permission for each online game will be GEL100,000 ($36,974). The gambling business must ensure compliance with the new conditions and receive all necessary documents by April 1, 2023.
The Ministry of Finance noted that currently, 12 facilities are operating online.
It is noted that the Parliament has not yet conducted hearings regarding this issue. The head of the Georgian Gambling Association (GGA), Giorgi Mamulaishvili, said that they have initial meetings with the Ministry of Finance, however, they did not know what kind of amendments would be included in the document.
“We hope that we will have a chance to attend the committee hearings and express our arguments,” he pointed.
The head of the GGA added that because of the new rules, companies will have to optimize their spending once again since the government is introducing new taxation for them.
According to Mamulaishvili, during this year and with the introduction of regulations in January 2022, new challenges have appeared in the industry.
Last December, the Georgian parliament adopted a law to tighten gambling regulations. According to the law, gambling advertising on tv, Georgian websites, or external advertising is now prohibited in the country; the tax base for the industry increased by 65-70%; people under the age of 25 and socially vulnerable segments have no access to games.
Thereby, a lot of foreign and illegal sites appeared on the Georgian market. Their advertisements are available on the Internet, and they attract players under the age of 25. While, local legal sites, in addition to existing costs, still have to allocate funds to compete with them.
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