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Problems with gambling

By Messenger Staff
Friday, March 1
Gambling has become a problematic issue in Georgia. Many Georgians have lost their entire life savings through gambling. Others have sold their houses to raise money to gamble with. There have even been several cases of people committing suicide after losing their savings. As a result of these and other incidents voices have been raised recently about restricting gambling in Georgia.

Nobody denies that casinos are a big attraction for tourists, in particular, from those countries that have money but where gambling is illegal. People involved in the tourism industry say that many people from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Israel and other countries where legalized gambling is restricted visit Georgia to gamble. Some individuals have suggested that casinos should only exist some distance from major towns and cities. The logic behind this is proposal is that many ordinary Georgians would be discouraged from gambling if they had to travel a considerable distance from their home and stay in expensive accommodation. Others have gone further and proposed that gambling should be totally banned in Georgia.

Georgian Dream MP Koba Davitashvili has proposed a ban on casino advertising. A petition has already been submitted to Parliament which proposes a ban or at least severely restricting gambling in Georgia. Some analysts think that to totally close down the gambling business would be embarrassing for Georgia. Defenders of gambling say restricting or banning legalized gambling will negatively impact the economy.