Following encouragement from Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, Georgia’s government has drafted new legislation that will place further restrictions on the gambling industry.
These restrictions include a suspension of gambling advertising and tighter control of the online gambling industry. According to Gharibashvili, unchecked online gaming operations are losing the country taxes while also putting people at risk of gambling harms due to a lack of regulation.
In response to Gharibashvili’s comments on the loss of taxes, the minister of finance, Lasha Khutsishvili has drafted a new bill that will modify taxes with all gross gaming revenue taxed at a rate of 10%. The bill also includes a rate of 2% on all winnings and that they be included as part of a person’s income.
The drafted bill states that operators may see an increase of somewhere in the region of 65% and 70% on their taxes. However, no further details have been released on this particular aspect of the legislation.
The legislation will also place a complete ban on all forms of gambling advertising. However this will not include sponsorship deals with companies and sporting organizations.
Gharibashvili has also suggested that he will place an outright ban on gambling for anyone under the age of 25. This means that anyone under 25 will not be able to gamble in any way either online or in a retail outlet. There was no mention of whether or not this will include the National Lottery but one thing we do know is that the ban will not apply to foreign nationals either visiting or residing in Georgia.
On the topic of international operators offering their services in the country, Gharibashvili has moved to request that all payment processors prohibit payments to gambling operators based abroad.