Armenia Targeting 'Foreign' Online Operators

January 15, 2024
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Armenia’s government has approved a new gambling law to establish more oversight and control over the gambling industry and enforce responsible gambling measures.
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Armenia’s government has approved a new gambling law to establish more oversight and control over the gambling industry and enforce responsible gambling measures.

In an announcement on January 11, Rustam Badasyan, chairman of Armenia’s State Revenue Committee, confirmed the approval of the "Regulation of Gaming Activities" draft law, which he said will enter into force on January 1, 2025.

Under the law, it is prohibited to create an opportunity for Armenians to participate in gambling organised in a foreign country or to advertise them in Armenia or on a dot.AM domain.

The government will be given powers to establish procedures to block illegal gambling sites. To not be deemed “foreign”, an operator must be based in Armenia, including their servers, software, hardware and gaming platforms.

Banks and payment systems operating in Armenia will be banned from providing payment services (including opening, maintaining, and servicing bank accounts) to facilitate gambling originating from a foreign country.

Currently, people under the age of 21 and citizens who receive certain financial aid from the government are not allowed to gamble.

Enforcing this will now be made possible by the implementation of a new monitoring system to which all gambling products that can accept a bet must be connected.

"These restrictions are already defined in the law, but if the government decides to restrict any social group again, it can be easily implemented through the monitoring centre and the unified electronic system," Badasyan told local media last week. 

Armenians will only be allowed to top up their gambling accounts or individual playing cards through bank accounts in their name.

The minimum amount of programmed winnings for any land-based or online gambling game should be 90 percent of the income received from players, the law says.

The law also clarifies where gambling activity can take place in the country.

A draft of the law was first published in July 2022.  

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