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Prospects of gambling business in Georgia

Thursday, October 17
The gambling business has become popular in Georgia. The number of gambling entities has increased, starting from large casinos to small slot machines. According to the official information, the gambling business pays 140 million GEL to the state budget, which is approximately 2% of the entire budget. These are the revenues from issuing the licenses, and income tax. There are about five companies which are on the list of the top 10 enterprises in Georgia.

As soon as the Georgian Dream coalition came to power, its former member Koba Davitashvili initiated a draft law on banning gambling in Georgia. The move was supported with the arguments that under-aged persons are playing and losing money, that many gamblers lost their properties at the casinos, etc. However, the parliament has not yet adopted the initiative so far. Some MPs bring the argument that there is an alternative possibility for people to gamble online, where they can also lose their money.

The gambling business, apart from contributing to the state budget, employs several thousands of people. In addition, the Georgian casinos attract tourists from neighboring countries, which do not allow gambling houses. For instance, gambling is prohibited in Azerbaijan and other central Asian countries as well as inIsrael.

So, people from those countries that have money, come to Georgia for gambling and thus contribute to the local economy. They need hotels, cafes/restaurants, guides, drivers, etc to familiarize with the country. There is an idea that instead of banning gambling, some special zones should be created with the necessary infrastructure where people could enjoy casinos and similar attractions.

Rumors have been recently spread that Spanish investors are ready to invest over 300 million USD in this business. Therefore, the Georgian parliament has to think hard about the preferences. (The Messenger)