The Ministry of Finance of Georgia has been working on a draft law to set new regulations on gambling. Introducing the law will raise the legal age limit for gambling to 21, which will restrict thousands of Georgian citizens from all types of gambling, including online casinos and lottery.
The move will forcibly reduce the number of consumers in the industry. The official document further clarifies that the law will positively affect the population, as it will act as a restricting factor for youth.
In addition to regulating the legal age limit, the draft law also intends to create a database of gambling addicted individuals who cannot be admitted to casinos and totalizators. The individuals can choose to voluntarily register in the database or they can be registered by their relatives through the court. The registered individuals will be kept in the database for three years.
The gambling sector in Georgia currently has 138 businesses registered, employing a total of 6,500 individuals. In 2016, the annual turnover of casinos and totalizators made up to 4.3 billion GEL, which is a 16% increase from the previous year. The biggest growth in the gambling industry occurred in 2015, when the annual turnover increased by 76%.
After legal changes that were made in the beginning of 2017, taxes imposed on gambling businesses have grown significantly, making up a total of 145 million GEL.