The country of Georgia has seen the number and volume of online gambling transactions decline since restrictions were introduced at the end of 2021, according to new research.
Despite the decline, online gambling transactions still accounted for 58.1 percent of the total e-commerce transactions in 2022.
In 2021, the share of online gambling transactions across the entire country's e-commerce activity was 70.5 percent.
The research came from the “Sector and value chain analytics” report, which has been published by the International School of Economics (ISET) and Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG) on July 10, 2023.
The number of gambling transactions declined by 14.5 percent year-over-year in 2022, with the value of transactions declining by 9.6 percent during the same period.
The report states: “Interestingly, the share of gambling transactions is very high in total online transactions in Georgia. Though the share of gambling has been declining during the past few years, the pace of growth of e-commerce transactions has been faster than the growth of gambling transactions.”
In January 2022, the Georgian parliament approved amendments introducing restrictions on gambling and advertising such as banning gambling ads on television, outdoors and on Georgian websites, along with fines for non-compliance. Most of the changes only came into effect in March of that year.
Other notable restrictions included prohibiting Georgian citizens below the age of 25 and foreigners below 18 years of age from gambling, and introducing a 10 percent tax on gross gaming revenue for online gambling, in addition to periodic fees.
In February 2023, Georgia introduced a new set of amendments to its gambling law, which include introducing a separate online licence, which will come into force on June 1, 2024.
The research is part of a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program, a five-year project aimed at accelerating growth in sectors other than agriculture that show “great potential” to create jobs, increase incomes and increase the revenues of businesses, as well as “support diversification towards more productive economic activities, including tourism and up to three additional sectors”.