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In recent years, the gambling industry in Georgia has seen a significant increase. Despite the closure of land-based casinos during the pandemic, the sector managed to achieve impressive growth of 23%. However, along with its success, there have been some drawbacks. The rising popularity of gambling has caused unrest among the population, prompting a response from the government. This article will explore how the iGaming market in Georgia will be impacted by new regulations in 2024.

An overview of Georgia’s gambling market

The gambling industry of Georgia has been stable for many years now, offering more possibilities than you may have previously imagined. Authorities view the industry as a legitimate and lucrative economic instrument and a way to expand the country’s tourism sector by drawing greater attention from international visitors and investment.

gambling in georgia 1.png

Gambling activities in Georgia are regulated by the nation’s Revenue Service. This body’s responsibilities include the issuance of licenses, development of tax policies, creation of a congenial environment for industry growth, and enforcement of industry rules.

In performing its duties, the Revenue Service is guided by the principles of fairness and transparency, paying close attention to protecting consumer rights, including the prevention of problem gambling among vulnerable segments of the population.

The Revenue Service’s activities are grounded in such legislative acts as “Organizing lotteries, gambling, and profit-generating games” as well as “issuing licenses and permits” (both of which were introduced in 2005).

In addition to this, there are some other crucial regulations, e.g. The Tax Code of Georgia and a range of orders from the Ministry of Finance.

The above laws and regulations determine all forms of legal gambling within the territory of Georgia. Consequently, operators can be issued licenses to conduct a gaming business in the following areas:

  • Land-based casinos
  • Slot machines
  • Board games
  • Bookmaker business
  • Bingo
  • Lotto
  • Lotteries
  • Online casino
  • Online betting
  • Slot machines salons

Getting a gaming license

One of the key benefits of obtaining a gambling license in Georgia is that it has a relatively simple and straightforward procedure. The license application can be submitted online on the website of the Revenue Service and is completely free of charge. All operators need to do is provide scans of some necessary documents (the documents required depend on the type of gambling activity license).

We offer consultancy services and complete package solutions for gambling license acquisition that include:

  • Gambling jurisdiction and business advisory
  • Gambling business corporate structure incorporation
  • Opening bank accounts
  • Gambling license application

Free consultation

It takes the governing body around 20 days to approve a regular application. However, if the process needs to be expedited, operators can pay extra for a quicker application.

The faster turnaround rates are as follows:

  • 10 days — GEL 400 ($148)
  • 5 days — GEL 800 ($296)
  • Next day — GEL 2,000 ($742)

The gambling license itself is issued for all types of gambling. Upon approval, it is then considered valid for 5 years. Please note that only companies registered in Georgia can apply for a gambling license, though company owners can be Georgian or foreign citizens.

Not long ago, operating online casinos required having a license for land-based casinos. However, this is about to change. New regulations now allow for additional online-only licenses. However, there is a catch – the price is €1.6 million per license holder per year.

Gambling taxes in Georgia

Gambling activities in Georgia are subject to annual and quarterly fees. While the annual fee is fixed and must be paid regularly in equal installments, the quarterly cost depends on the form of gambling and the region where a casino is located. The most favorable conditions in terms of taxation are reserved for resort areas that have preferential tax systems in place. For example, in regions such as Gudauri, Kazbegi, and Sighnaghi, operators do not need to pay any tax at all, regardless of the specifics of their business.

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The table below outlines the annual taxes which are set by the Revenue Service. Taxes vary depending on location, with the higher ranges applying to the capital city of Tbilisi and lower ranges applying to less populated areas.

Annual Taxes

CasinosGEL 100,000 — 5,000,000
Gambling machinesGEL 50,000 — 1000,000
Table game clubGEL 10,000 — 50,000
Betting activity GEL 30,000 — 300,000
Bingo and LottoGEL 15,000
LotteryGEL 15,000

According to the law “On gambling levy” from 29.12.2006 № 4250 (consolidated version from 09.02.2023), the quarterly amounts of levy in gambling business comprises of these amounts:

  • For each casino table — quarterly from GEL 20,000 to GEL 40,000 inclusive.
  • For each gambling machine — quarterly from GEL 2000 to GEL 4000 inclusive.
  • For each incentive prize drawing — 10% of the prize fund.
  • For a system-electronic game — quarterly from GEL 250,000 to GEL 300,000 inclusive.
  • On games organized in system-electronic form:
    • For Samorin games — from 250,000 GEL to 300,000 GEL per quarter
    • For gaming machines — from 250,000 GEL per quarter to 300,000 GEL inclusive
    • For totalizer games — from 250,000 GEL to 300,000 GEL per quarter;
  • For lottery activities — 10% of the difference between the total value of the sold lottery tickets and the prize fund.
  • For each cash register of gambling and/or profitable games arranged in system-electronic form outside the facility which is organized with the permission to arrange gambling and/or profitable games — from 1,500 GEL to 20,000 GEL per quarter.
  • For each table in a club — quarterly from GEL 4000 to GEL 14,000 inclusive.

Online casino operations in Georgia

As mentioned earlier, one significant change in the law, which will take effect in 2024, is the introduction of a separate permit for online gaming. It is no longer necessary to operate a land-based gambling business to obtain gambling license in Georgia.

This change presents entrepreneurs with numerous unique opportunities, particularly during these economically unstable times. Many companies that were previously limited to physical locations have transitioned to the online realm, as they have observed a substantial increase in new players and revenues.

In Georgia, it is allowed to conduct the following online gambling activities:

  • Online casino
  • Sportsbooks
  • Lotteries

For online casino management, a quarterly fee changed from GEL 30,000 — 60,000 to GEL 250,000 to GEL 300,000 inclusive.

IMPORTANT: Offshore companies are forbidden to offer online casino services in Georgia. You must register your company in Georgia, however, your own nationality does not matter.

What's new in the gambling legislation?

After the pandemic, gambling in Georgia has experienced rapid growth. In response, the Georgian government has taken significant steps to regulate this industry, continuing to actively implement changes to this day.

In the year 2021, changes were made to the process of obtaining a license. Now, license holders are required to obtain a certificate from regulating bodies for their games and systems. This certification comes with associated fees, payable to the certifying companies. The regulations also place emphasis on the importance of monitoring systems for taxation, based on Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) data, and ensuring compliance with Return to Player (RTP) standards.

A rise in gambling participation has created social backlash, prompting the Georgian government to implement new restrictions. In 2022, the government took a proactive approach by introducing measures to restrict gambling access for over one million adult citizens.

The legislation prohibits gambling for specific groups, including individuals receiving government assistance, government employees, and those under 25 years old. The law also instructs the Revenue Service to create a special list that includes self-identified gambling addicts and individuals declared addicts by court order.

The introduction of new regulations has also impacted marketing strategies. Gambling advertising is now restricted across various media channels, outdoor spaces, and websites. The only permitted form of advertisement is through the sponsorship of sports teams, athletes, or leagues.

Starting in 2021, Georgian gambling legislation began to change tax rates, increasing the overall tax on gambling by 70 percent. However, this was just the beginning.In 2023, Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, announced that the rate imposed on gambling business profits will increase from 10% to 15%.

Furthermore, it was announced that changes in legislation will allow land-based casinos to operate online casinos and interested companies to obtain licenses specifically for online casinos. However, the government is imposing a €1.6 million annual fee for each license holder.

The new gambling restrictions in Georgia have sparked controversy and disagreement. While the government believes it can protect citizens in this way, the thriving gambling industry could suffer.

Slotegrator will keep abreast of any new developments and inform you about all new laws and opportunities for the gambling business. Follow the news on our website and contact our legal officers and learn about the iGaming opportunities in Georgia.

Nikolaj Plugatar
Nikolaj Plugatar
Business Development Manager
Nikolaj started at Slotegrator in 2018 as a Sales Manager and became a Business Development Manager in 2022. Nikolaj is passionate about the iGaming industry — he is an expert in gambling markets and modern technologies and trends in development. He shares his knowledge about the most in-demand products and solutions on the market today and steers the gambling community in the direction of growth.

Comments

  • S
    Sabina
    January 7, 2022
    Smojete li pomoc otkrıt onlayn kazino v Qruzii?
    Команда Slotegrator
    Команда Slotegrator
    January 7, 2022
    добрый день! Конечно, будем рады помочь! Связались с вами.
  • А
    Аркадий
    February 17, 2021
    Can you help open a casino in Gruzia?
    The Slotegrator team
    The Slotegrator team
    February 17, 2021
    always here to help! :) I have sent you the detailed information.

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