25 Sep, 2022
Legislation is one of the most important aspects for the successful development of any business sector. But Legislation should be flexible and focused on business development, and not on infringement of the rights of the business sector. Based on the fact that this sector already attracts a lot of public attention in society and there are still many myths and stigmas around the gambling sector, the compatibility of society and the gambling industry should be regulated through legislation. There are several aspects that the government should take into account when adopting and implementing this or that legislative act.
1. Regulation should make business transparent
2. The process of implementing the law should be simple not only for the state, but also for operators
3. Exceptions to the possibility of corrupt contracts
4. Ability to administer the adopted legislation
5. Cost of administration
6. Take into account the interests of the state of business and the public
Why consideration of the possibility and cost of administration is important in the process of acceptance, if administration or the cost of administration is high for the state, the state will always try to shift its burden to business. Based on the fact that additional costs always hinder business development, the business, for its part, will always try to shift this burden onto the consumer. As a result, the consumer and the taxpayer always suffer. This is what leads to a change in consumer behavior. The consumer begins to look for new opportunities and markets for himself, where he can fulfill his need for gambling with minimal losses. This brings a decrease in business income, and a decrease in business income directly affects the reduction in the replenishment of the state treasury. And this cycle is spinning only because of the wrong legislation.
If we consider various legislative errors in the region, for example, in Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine. It can be understood that people did not stop gambling and, due to incorrect legislation, they began to look for new markets for themselves.
Turkey - gambling is requested, but a large number of Turkish citizens, approximately 79%, play in different markets, including Georgia.
Turks love to play casino games. However, due to legal restrictions, there are no land-based casino centers or salons here. Rather, all online casino platforms are allowed through web services in Turkey. If Turkish citizens want to play casinos in land-based centers, they prefer to visit casino hotels in Northern Cyprus. In Turkey, people have a big tendency to play online casinos. This is because Turks love to earn big money in a short amount of time. So many Turks dream of making money fast. Online casino games encourage all people in Turkey to become rich immediately. Therefore, people prefer online casinos.
Azerbaijan - The country still allows sports betting through a single operator - Topaz, as well as various lotteries organized by the state enterprise Azərlotereya. Incidentally, the latter was transferred to the management of a foreign company.
Azerbaijani parliamentarians have decided to tighten control and sanctions against an almost non-existent industry in the country - gambling.
This is proved by the fact that, despite the ban, Azerbaijanis play a lot, including in Georgia.
Armenia - Tightened the law of gambling and many gambling establishments are closing, according to reliable sources, more than 2,000 people will remain unemployed. The budget will also lose $2 million. as income tax.
Ukraine - despite the legalization, which for 2 years has not been able to regulate the adopted law (although, unfortunately, at the moment there is a warrior in Ukraine). There are many problems in relation to foreign investors. The tax legislation has its downsides, a lot of corruption and an unfavorable environment for the player. Although Ukraine has the opportunity to frolic as one of the largest hubs in the region.
Georgia - about Georgia, we can say that the development of gambling legislation began in 2005, the first major changes, which was the beginning of the regulation of this area. After Georgia, the market regions, where new gambling establishments were opened due to benefits. The regions of Batumi, Kazbegi, Tskhaltubo and others have developed partly through the development of the gambling sector. Until now, the budget of 8 large regional municipalities is mostly replenished from gambling license fees. The second major change in legislation took place in 2011, which further improved the business environment and these changes soon bore fruit. Foreign investors began to enter the Georgian market and large corporations such as Betson Group, Entein and Flater became interested in the Georgian market.
After 2011, the gambling legislation has been improved more than once and the Association of the Georgian Gambling Business has taken an active part in its improvement. With the participation of the association, the method of accounting for statistical data has improved, which has contributed to greater transparency in the industry. The law on illegal money circulation, the law on verification and identification of users (by the way, this law minimized the possibility of phishing operations and illegal circulation of money) and much more.
But at the end of 2021, due to the political decision of the government, it was decided to tighten the legislation of the gambling business, which resulted in the following
1. Tax hikes
2. Advertising ban
3. Ban for playing under 25 years old
4. Prohibition to play for persons who receive social assistance
5. Prohibition to play state. employees
6. Withdrawal tax
As a result, Georgia received an anti-effect from these changes in legislation, which I predicted more than once during the consideration of this bill. But, unfortunately, due to a purely political decision, an outside argument was not taken into account. We can say that this is one of the most classic examples of how a sector, state, society can suffer from the adoption of incorrect legislation. What did Georgia get today after the adoption of such legislation
1. Players who have been asked to play have moved to overseas markets or are using relatives' details
1.1 - the state has lost control over such players
1.2 Outflow of funds from the state
1.3 Illegal means of access to gambling have emerged
1.4 Replenishment to the budget decreased
1.5 Crime activated
1.6 Many illegal operators have appeared
2. - business
2.1 - lost users
2.2 Decreased gross profit
3. Related industries.
3.1 lost additional income
2. advertising ban
State - received illegal advertising, which is impossible to fight due to the fact that these are foreign countries and are not under the jurisdiction of Georgia
Business - turned out to be not in a competitive environment, as it cannot compete with illegal operators with advertising
Related industries - The advertising and TV market lost 400 million lari of income and the sports market lost sponsors in the amount of 30 million lari.
As a result, today the Georgian gambling market is undergoing major unpleasant changes, which leads to an unfavorable business environment and an uncontrolled situation in society.
Local operators will have to concentrate on keeping players in the sector.
As for the region, the same mistake is made by Romania, which wants to initiate a new gambling law and introduce a tax on winnings. This will lead to the fact that local players will simply leave for other markets and the state, despite the desire to prohibit the influx of illegal operators, will not be able to regulate the market based on the rapid technological development in the IT field. There are many ways to get around any ban. Therefore, the best way to combat the illegal market is the development of local operators - and for this you need to adopt the right legislation and introduce a system for administering this legislation. Of course, we must not forget that administration has its price and it should not be more expensive than the negative aspects, both financially and socially.