The Georgian prime minister has announced that the country is to tighten online casino reforms, with the mandated restrictions to be imposed across two phases.
Under the first of these, an increase in online casino taxes as well as a raise in the minimum eligible age for participation to 25 years are to be undertaken, alongside the prohibition of igaming advertising. In the second, it is envisaged that the activity will be banned throughout the country completely.
The prime minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, explained: “1.5bn Gel (£358m) is exported out of the country through online casinos. Our citizens, the younger generation, play in online casinos on a daily basis and lose their money.
“The total amount of this money is 1.5 billion Georgian Lari. I’ve had discussions on this matter with our economy team. We think that at the first stage the minister of finance will introduce a bill, which states an increase of the taxes for the owners of online casinos, the absolute majority of which are foreign companies.
“Unfortunately, the money of our citizens is flowing out of the country. This amount is one billion five hundred million dollars, and 99 per cent of it is the money of people living in poverty with no jobs.
“We also consider prohibiting online casino advertising and increase the minimum gambling age to 25 years. The second stage should prohibit operations of online casinos.”
Furthermore, Garibashvili said that he is ready to openly discuss the topic and thinks it will have support from the Georgian citizens. The Prime Minister has also mentioned that they will work closely with parliament to make an “optimal and reasonable” decision.
SBC CIS is following developments and will publish the latest updates.