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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Friday, March 15
What is the future of gambling in Georgia?

A petition signed by NGOs, political organizations and various public figures which proposes restricting or banning gambling in Georgia has been sent to the Parliamentary Committee of Sector Economy and Economic Policy. In addition, a bill has been proposed in Parliament that would ban gambling in Georgia, with the exception of lotteries. Liberali reports that the author of the proposed bill is MP Koba Davitashvili. The proposed bill would ban casinos and betting shops.

Opponents of the ban say it will not solve the problem because online gambling will still be accessible. However, Koba Davitashvili thinks it will be possible to control online gambling as well.

It remains unclear whether Parliament supports the idea of restricting gambling. The Georgian Gambling Association has negatively evaluated the idea of a total ban. However, the Georgian Gambling Association shares Davitashvili’s view about banning gambling advertisements. They think it is reasonable to ban gambling advertising on public transport and billboards but insist that sponsors should have the right to advertise late at night on sport shows.

Levan Akhvlediani, Head of the Georgian Gambling Association, stated that if gambling is completely banned, TV companies that run sport shows will be negatively affected. He added a gambling ban would also affect the state budget which gains significant revenue from gambling.

Students of Agrarian University continue demonstrations

Interpressnews reports that students will continue striking until accreditation for Agrarian University is restored. Students Ilia Bidzinashvili and Irakli Kiknavelidze said at a press conference that no agreement was achieved at Wednesday’s meeting with Minister of Education and Science Giorgi Margvelashvili. According to Kiknavelidze, the Minister could not answer their questions.

Kiknavelidze said the students have gathered documents with lawyers outlining seven arguments against the abolishment of accreditation. Meanwhile, Bidzinashvili said the students will continue demonstrations until the university's accreditation is restored.