What are the new governmental regulations for the gambling business?
Online gambling has never been so easier than now, just by pulling out your phone.
While gambling is meant as a form of entertainment, ease of access makes online betting a fast growing, yet potentially risky activity.
About one million Georgian citizens will be banned from online gambling and will not be allowed in brick and mortar casinos, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated earlier this week.
According to the amendments proposed by the country’s Finance Ministry, citizens under 25 years will be banned from gambling.
1.The Finance Ministry gives detailed definition on who will also be subject to this measure. These will be the socially vulnerable persons who are getting allowances from the state, as well as civil servants;
2. Second regulation will be set in terms of taxation for the online gambling business. Overall tax base of the sector will be increased by 65-70%, which will ensure they contribute the same amount of money to the state budget as earlier.
3. Third measure is to ban advertising of gambling. Any and all TV commercials on gambling, its outdoor advertising and web promotion through Georgian sites will be prohibited. Gambling business operators will be entitled to only conclude sponsorship agreements and this treatment may be primarily related to sports.
4. As of the amendments, individuals can request self-limitation from the Inland Revenue Service of Georgia and can be captured in the so-called Black List on the grounds of Court Rulings, at the request of family members.
5. The government has plans to offer stricter regulations for registration of online gamblers, as well as depositing money on their accounts. Financial operations will be made only for registered users, while money transfers between gamblers will be restricted.
6.Restrictions will be imposed on Georgian gamblers who will decide to play in foreign online casinos. Tax providers will be obliged not to make transfers to foreign gambling business accounts.
7.Withdrwal of any amount of draw winnings will be charged with 2% income tax.
The Ministry of Finance has already drafted the bill which will be present in parliament in the near future.
Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili told BM.GE that he does not agree with the assessment of the Gambling Business Association, noting that gambling business will go back 20 years due to the planned amendments.
"I do not know why the sector says that with this regulation the sector will go back 20 years, if we look at the scale of regulation, the business is regulated in all countries of the world and at the same time quite strictly. I can not share the pathos that regulating the gambling business should be some kind of surprise for anyone. As for the age threshold, it varies in different countries and in some places it is completely forbidden,"Lasha Khutsishvili said.
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