BUSINESS
New gambling rules for Georgia
21 August, 2018
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia. It is thought that around 600 000 Georgians may presently be addicted to gambling, especially online-casinos. Georgia’s total population is approximately 3 729 600 people, so it is easy to see that the number of addicted gamblers makes up a large percentage of that population.

Everyone should know that gambl
ing is a fool’s game and rarely does it result in the punter winning. Invariably the addiction only makes them spend more in the hope of getting rich quicker. But they end up losing and being poorer. But they still keep trying, and spending more money in the hope they will have some luck next time.

Unsurprisingly, whilst having these problems within the country, profits of online-casinos continue to increase and equate to billions of GEL.

Palitra Media has refused to advertise online-casinos but instead runs a social campaign “Don’t Play, Live!”

The government is also keen to introduce strong measures which it hopes will help curb addiction and emphasize the importance of the problem among the public.
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Gambling is attractive for international visitors in Georgia as well. Photo courtesy: worldcasinodirectory.com

The need for new legislation was announced some three years ago but a draft of the new law was only prepared last October. There were suspicions that the delay was caused by lobbyists getting involved and trying to influence the process.

About a month ago information was leaked which suggested that the government didn’t like the first draft of the new law as they considered it may have a detrimental effect on Gambling businesses. So they decided to make some amendments to the text of the draft.

The Patriarchate of Georgia has also become involved recommending that the minimum age for gambling be raised from 21 to 25. It is thought that the suggested government amendments to date will also prohibit, public service personnel and state beneficiaries from gambling.

According to the new plan, players will be allowed to make transactions only via official banks. Georgian bank cards will be blocked for foreign online-games.

Experts think that the new regulations should be effective and benefit the country.

Levan Gogichaishvili, one of the initiators of the draft law, says that a special list will be created of those not allowed to play. Public services personnel and socially vulnerable people will be included on the list as well. “There are occasions when a person is socially vulnerable and receives material help from the State, but still gamble online”.
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Addiction to gambling and online-casinos is a huge problem in Georgia

“We think that people aged between 18 and 24 are the most prone to gambling, and that is why we intend to raise the minimum age for gambling to 25” – says Levan.

The reason why won’t be banning gambling and online-casinos completely is the number of foreign visitors who visit these places they spend a large amount of money which is beneficial for the state, emphasized the lawmaker. “After these measures are implemented, we think that the number of online-gamblers will decrease by 70 percent.”

Author: Ema Tukhiashvili

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