26 Nov, 2021
The initiative related to the ban of advertising of online games at the first stage and their complete ban in the long term may lead to the closure of some independent media, which largely depends on the income of online casino advertising, said the Head of the Association of Georgian Gambling Association, George Mamulaishvili.
According to him, many types of businesses and companies are associated with the gambling industry, including: advertising, media, sports programs, banks, financial institutions.
"Maybe many people don't like gambling, but that shouldn't be a reason to ban it. We are ready to receive effective and reasonable regulations from the state, we are ready for dialogue and any consultation," he said.
According to Mamulaishvili, the banning of online gambling establishments will affect the media the most and, first of all, sports programs, which are many in the media space today.
"Sports programs are mostly advertising for gambling and this can easily be seen by turning on one of these types of programs on any TV channel. In addition, sports channels, for example, Setanta and several others, are much more dependent on gambling advertising," said George Mamulaishvili.
According to him, gambling companies have shown social responsibility in the last two years and have refused to advertise outside, with schools or other educational institutions.
The head of the association is also afraid that if such a decision is made, foreign investments in the gaming business, including those currently being implemented, will be called into question.
"Large companies that invest in the gaming business are very sensitive to any actions of the state, including regulations and restrictions. It may turn out that large businesses lose interest in investing in Georgia. Over the past three years, the gambling sector has seen a lot of foreign investment. 71 million GEL was reinvested in business development in 2018, 30 million in 2019, and more than 32 million GEL in 2020," said Giorgi Mamulaishvili, head of Georgian Gambling Association.