Georgian athletes have stated earlier today that Georgian sport will be left without funding if the parliament approves legislative restrictions on gambling in the country.
They noted that increased taxes for the business will not allow it to further sponsor sport in Georgia and thus ‘will put many types of sports in a difficult situation and kill prospects for development,’ athletes stated.
What are the new governmental regulations for the gambling business?
At the press conference along with the Head of Georgian Gambling Association (GGA) Giorgi Mamulaishvili, athletes also noted that many of them might give up on their profession as a result of lost funding.
Personally, I feel great support from gambling business, my success is much valued and I don’t want successful athletes to be left without funding,” World and Olympic Champion in weightlifting Lasha Talakhadze said.
World and European champion in Sambo Nino Odzelashvili stated that the gambling business stood by the sport and ‘without funding Georgian sport would not be able to exist.’
Ban on gambling TV ads to take effect in March
Mamulaishvili in his turn said that if legislative restrictions are approved by the parliament gambling ‘businesses will no longer have the opportunity to make large investments in various fields.’
Adoption of this law will harm not only one specific area, but also the population. People who want to play will enter the illegal market and no one should have the illusion that this will change for the better,” Mamulaishvili said.
Gov’t plans to impose restrictions for online gambling, increase fees
In November the Georgian government announced new regulations for online gambling businesses and the draft bill of the regulations was submitted to the parliament on December 13.
Per the legislative document online gambling businesses will see up to 70% increase in taxes, gambling advertisements will be banned completely and the lower age limit for gamblers will increase to 25 years of age.
The bill has not yet been adopted by the Georgian parliament.