Georgian PM Signs Order to Implement Tougher Gambling Laws

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Georgia is set to implement a wide range of regulations that will transform and reshape its gambling industry from next year. The Georgian government made the announcement after Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili signed an executive order to enforce new gambling laws, penalties, and consumer protection policies.

Businesses in the gambling sector have been cautioned to brace themselves for regulatory changes slated to commence in 2024.

Georgia Announce Stringent New Gambling Regulations

Starting July 1, 2024, Georgia will implement the revised 'Code of Administrative Offenses,' which will usher in stringent compliance regulations across all facets of the gambling industry.

The new rules will see the country introduce the strictest age verification measures for gambling consumers. All individuals under the age of 25 will be banned from gambling in live online casinos and at land-based locations in Georgia. Additionally, all government or public sector workers and individuals convicted by Georgian courts will be prohibited from gambling.

The government set fines for breaching the Code's regulations on age limits at GEL 10,000 (€3,500) for initial violations and GEL 20,000 (€7,000) for subsequent breaches.

The age verification rules and other tougher measures have been extended to retail establishments like internet cafes, bars, and shops, with potential fines of up to GEL 30,000 (€10,000) for permitting underage gambling.

Gambling businesses are also mandated to provide individual customer databases for government agencies to cross-check citizens engaged in gambling activities.

Income Taxes Increase

In tandem with these stringent compliance measures, the government is increasing income taxes on gambling earnings from 10% to 15%, as stipulated in Georgia's 2024 national budget.

Prime Minister Gharibashvili has further directed agencies to consider raising taxes on customer winnings from 2% to 5%.

Gharibashvili had previously mentioned that the Georgian government needed to raise GEL 400m for the national budget to address the gambling-related pandemic affecting the youth of the country.

The new regulations add to the already long list of regulatory hurdles licensed operators have been subjected to in the Georgian gambling market since 2020.

Businesses have had to adhere to a comprehensive advertising ban across national media as well as a rise in the tax rate on gambling income from 65% to 70%.