The Georgian iGaming Sector: the Current Situation

26 march 2021
Online casino, Land-based solutions, Licensing
Author: James Burton
Source:
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The local market has been actively developing for over 25 years and is recognised as one of the most reliable economic instruments at the country level.

Our specialists will tell you how to launch an online casino with a local permit, and why such a decision is so profitable.

Online casino in Georgia: how to launch

We monitor all changes in the regulation of the industry and offer comprehensive support, including:

  • advice and recommendations on how to choose an offshore jurisdiction;
  • formation of the business structure of the enterprise;
  • assistance in registering a legal entity;
  • preparation of a package of documents;
  • opening of bank accounts.

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Historical Background

The history of casino entertainment in the country began at the time of the USSR. Initially, the sector was not controlled at all. The legal regulation was developed only in the early 2000s.

At one time, the government seriously considered such an option as a complete ban on the gambling market. But this initiative did not receive support and was rejected.

Almost 20 years ago, new reforms came into effect. The result of the innovations was a defeat of corruption and the maximum lowering of crime rates.

Georgia was included in the Gallup World list and took third place in the ranking of the safest countries.

In 2005, the Gambling Act was presented. It allowed local and foreign enterprises to launch such projects as:

  • offline and virtual casinos;
  • gambling halls with slot machines;
  • online and offline card and table entertainment;
  • lotteries and bingo;
  • sweepstakes;
  • bookmaker's offices.

This type of business firmly established itself in the economic development of the country and has made it possible to increase tourist traffic.

Reasons for the Growth of the iGaming Sector

For the attraction of foreign investment, excellent conditions have been created.

It is recommended to buy a casino in the country for several reasons:

  1. Well-developed tourism sector. The country has a favourable environment and a great infrastructure. About 4 million people visit the region annually, which is more than the entire population of the country.
  2. Good geolocation. The closest neighbours of Georgia support the policy of a complete ban on gambling. As a result, the country regularly attracts users from Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan.
  3. The depth of the economic market. In the Forbes list, the country takes fourth place in the ranking of countries with a minimum tax burden. A casino can be launched literally in one day.
  4. Benefits for the sector. The region actively attracts foreign investments and offers operators optimal working conditions. Gambling clubs located in hotels are exempt from the income tax.

Legislative Amendments in 2021

Georgian casinos: legislative amendments in 2021

At the beginning of the year, additional measures to control the gambling sector were taken. During 2021, special organisations will be created, whose tasks will include:

  • assessment of the quality of game mechanics;
  • inspection of the compliance of software with legal requirements (both land-based equipment and digital platforms will be monitored);
  • control over the legitimacy of the actions of providers;
  • audit of gambling platforms;
  • checking the timeliness of tax payments;
  • issuance of certificates of conformity.

The New Regulation of the Country’s iGaming Market

A number of amendments to the Gambling Act have been introduced, including:

  1. Mandatory local registration. To obtain a Georgian licence, entrepreneurs must register a legal address on the country’s territory. It applies to all industry participants: casino owners, software distributors and vendors, as well as the owners of network projects.
  2. Unified digital control system. The program for monitoring the activities of businessmen has been introduced in January 2021. The project has several goals: control of tax deductions, assessment of the legality of the work of entrepreneurs, an inspection of the operators’ compliance with the provisions of the local permit.
  3. Mandatory commission fees. The size of the fixed rate can be found in the amendment to the Gambling Act No. Н455.

How to Obtain a Local Certificate

Among the benefits of launching a casino in this country, we can name a very simple document submission procedure. It is possible to file an electronic application and choose the time of its consideration:

  • 20 days — for free;
  • 10 days — about 200 dollars;
  • 5 days — up to 300 dollars;
  • 1 working day — about 600 dollars.

Documents are collected depending on the type of future activities. The validity period of a permit is 5 years.

An important point is that you can apply for the launch of a network project only after the opening of a land-based location in Georgia.

Taxes and Fees for the iGaming Sector

There are 2 types of tax deductions:

  • annual and quarterly fees with a fixed rate for each type of business;
  • annual tax with different rates for each region.

Annual taxes are paid in equal instalments during a specified period. An exception was made for resort areas: gambling clubs in several regions are exempt from any fees.

Tax payments for different sectors of the iGaming market:

  • casinos (both online and offline locations) — up to 40 thousand dollars;
  • clubs with slot machines — about 20 thousand dollars;
  • offline and online card entertainment — up to 4 thousand dollars;
  • bookmaker’s business — about 12 thousand dollars;
  • lotteries, sweepstakes, and bingo — up to 6 thousand dollars.

There are special benefits for the following companies:

  • offline platforms with hardware slots do not pay income tax;
  • land-based slot machines and locations with table games are exempt from commissions from paid prize funds;
  • bookmakers do not pay quarterly fees;
  • representatives of the online segment work in accordance with the fixed rate of 5%.

Additional fees for the participants of the gambling market in 2021

20%

Commission on the personal income of entrepreneurs (tax on salaries of the employees of gambling clubs)

1%

Commission fees from the real estate property

15%

Corporate income tax

20%

Liability tax. It is paid by the organisers of sweepstakes, tournaments, and other public events with prize funds

Where to Order a Casino with the Country’s Permit

Gambling business in Georgia: where to order

From our studio, you can buy a turnkey casino. We offer complex solutions with legal and technical support.

Our specialists provide the following guarantees:

  • round-the-clock technical support;
  • professional customer support;
  • regular updates of the system;
  • high level of customer security;
  • access to reliable payment instruments (including cryptocurrency wallets);
  • a large selection of content from well-known providers.

Additional services for business optimisation:

  • remote project administration;
  • creation of mobile applications;
  • organisation and implementation of bonus programs;
  • connection of affiliate networks;
  • integration of multicurrency payment instruments;
  • connection of security systems;
  • development of HTML5 products.

The Main Things about the Local Casino Sector

The key benefits and peculiarities of the local gaming business:

  • Minimum tax burden. Thus, casinos in resort areas are exempt from income taxes, operators do not pay commission fees on prize funds, and bookmakers do not need to pay a mandatory quarterly fee.
  • Market legalisation. The country allows entrepreneurs to establish locations with card games and hardware equipment, betting shops, etc.
  • Simple certification procedure. Georgia is included in the Forbes list as the country with the lowest tax burden. A gambling project can be launched within 24 hours: applications are filed in the electronic format totally free of charge.
For more information on the nuances of the acquisition of a Georgian licence, please turn to our specialists.

We are ready to provide legal support, including assistance in collecting documents and legal support during the registration of a company in the offshore zones. Moreover, we offer turnkey projects with sublicences issued by the most respected jurisdictions.

Our managers are always aware of the latest market trends and offer their clients the following types of casino software:

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