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Georgia – Georgia announces raft of new laws banning 1.45m people from gambling

By - 31 March 2023

The Republic of Georgia has continued its crackdown on gambling by banning over 1.45m people from gambling, including under 25s, public employees, the socially vulnerable and those blacklisted by courts or self-excluding.

Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia, said the changes are needed if Georgia was to pass its ‘European Council 12-point conditions’ to give it EU candidate status

The bill was approved last year by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili but brought into play this month.

A blanket-ban has been brought in on all forms of betting gambling advertising and an increase in the tax base of gambling to 65 to 70 per cent. Cruise ship gambling will be banned and no more online gaming operators will be licensed. Only 12 licensed gambling companies are operating online with these being limited to land-based casino operators.

Giorgi Mamulaishvili, Head of the Georgian Gambling Business Association (GGA), said recently: “Considering all taxes and fees, casino operators in Georgia would replenish the budget by 750,000 GEL (€264,000) every quarter. There is no doubt that such restrictions are ineffective and the government must approach gambling addiction differently since citizens are still playing on illegal foreign sites, of which there are approximately 700.”

Caption: Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia

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