Georgian gambling operators criticized the initiative of the authorities to tighten supervision of the gambling industry

Georgian gambling operators criticized the initiative of the authorities to tighten supervision of the gambling industry

Gambling Business Association of Georgia (GGA) officially released its position regarding the governmental bill on tougher gambling industry regulation. The organization is not content that the authorities decided to change the rules cardinally without consulting the representatives of the gambling industry. George Mamulaishvili, the chairman of GGA confirmed this information.

The functionary demanded to organize negotiations with the team of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to discuss the announced changes. In his opinion, such cardinal reforms will have a strong impact on economy. Mamulaishvili forecasts growth of unemployment and reduction of subsidies to social spheres.

“The expected tightening is totally unacceptable. Not a single consultation has been held with our business. The tone with which the government speaks about the operation of the gambling business is outrageous. We learn all the news only from the media, no one communicates or consults with the Association,” Georgy Mamulaishvili said.

He added: “If the deputies and ministers maintain their point of view and do not go along, representatives of domestic gambling will be forced to carry out the optimization of financial activity. In such circumstances we will have to give up any social projects, including sponsorship of sports.”

As the GGA noted, legislative initiatives to ban online casinos on the territory of the country will have a negative impact not only on domestic affairs but also on Georgia’s international image.

Mamulaishvili is sure that the prohibition of gambling at the legislative level will literally open the way for the development of shadow gambling business in the country, and the citizens will be forced to use the services of foreign operators through VPN services. Accordingly, the authorities will lose control over the financial flows of this industry, and the treasury will cease to receive a significant part of the income.

Recall that Georgian authorities have defined the list of citizens who will be restricted from access to online gambling.

Sarah Richardson

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