Gambling Taxation Prompts Uproar in Georgia
While all eyes in the online casino gambling industry are focusing on the Italian government’s efforts to ban online casino gambling, Georgia’s government are also doing their bit to halt online casino gambling activity in their country. A new law requiring gaming operators to pay extra licensing fees has forced several casino gambling establishments in Tbilisi, Georgia, to close down.
Under the new law, casino owners must pay the government an annual sum of two and a half million U.S. dollars in order to legally operate a casino gambling venue in Tbilisi. Only two resorts are exempt from the tax increase. The new taxation law is designed to reduce the number of casino gambling establishments operating in Georgia and came into effect last month. Initially the law was challenged by one parliamentary committee. Several casino gambling operators have also expressed their outrage with the increase in taxation, saying that the government’s method to reduce the number of gambling operators is inappropriate. According to one casino manager, the market itself should determine the number of casinos operating across the city of Tbilisi.
Those opposed to the new taxation law have pointed out that it may give birth to a local underground online casino gambling industry. However, Georgia’s Deputy Finance Minister has reportedly responded that the increase in state revenue far outweighs all concerns of illegal online casino gambling activity.