Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, has increased taxes on the gambling sector due to concerns about the high level of gambling activity in the country, something he describes as being of a “catastrophic” nature.
The sector’s turnover in 2022 grew from GEL 48 billion to GEL 52 billion despite bans on gambling advertising and an increase in the minimum age for gambling to 25 years of age.
In lieu of the gambling participation rate remaining significantly high, the government is now raising the taxation on gambling businesses.
New tax measures
Tax on profit will be moved from 10 percent to 15 percent while the increase on player withdrawals will increase from 2 percent to 5 percent.
These new measures are expected to generate an additional GEL 400 million in annual revenue.
The Georgian Prime Minister signed off on these reforms earlier this year with the express aim of combatting gambling-related harms, especially among younger demographics.
The reforms also restrict online casinos to land-based organisations and have provisions for ring-fenced casino licencing.
Online slots will also be limited to retail slots parlours and sports betting will be limited to only physical bookmakers.
Licence fees will be requested by the government to the tune of €1.6 million per online-only license holder per year, with several industry professionals considering this a fee that may be too large to be sustainable.
Alex Szilaghi, president of Szilaghi Consulting stated on the matter:
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