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Casinos in Armenia: Key Features of the Niche

Casinos in Armenia: Key Features of the Niche

Updated 15/03/2023
This European country is fascinating for its indescribable, special flavour. Here, ancient history, folk traditions, and modern technologies are combined most amazingly.

The jurisdiction has fairly liberal legislation regarding entertainment, tourism, and gambling. The mild climate, a huge number of resort areas, and world-famous cognac attract millions of people from all over the world.

Gambling business in Armenia

The local gaming sector deserves special attention. The industry brings significant income to the state treasury. The government is taking measures to prevent the development of ludomania among players. For example, punters or their relatives can send an official request to get banned from visiting a gambling venue.

To learn more about taxation features and the nuances of licensing in Armenia, contact Gaminator specialists. We provide our clients with full legal support and offer the best range of solutions for implementing a successful project.

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Brief Historical Summary

The entertainment sphere in the country appeared shortly before the republic's secession from the Soviet Union. If earlier people were offered only state lotteries and bets on horse racing, then since 1992, gambling has begun an almost unhindered and active development.

The wave of openings of new establishments continued until the 2000s. At the beginning of the century, the president of Armenia adopted a new gambling law. The document regulated the work of offline locations. For example, the legislative act forbade the operation of small clubs, where less than 20 units of equipment were presented.

It was also prohibited for people under the age of 21 to play games for money. And the main nuance was that gambling venues should be located at a distance of at least:

  • 50 km from Yerevan;
  • 10 km from major cities and regional centres.

The law was in force for more than 8 years, after which several amendments were made. Until 2013, all locations had to move to designated areas. This caused an active protest among the business owners but they only managed to postpone the decision until 2014.

Local Gaming Zones

Casinos in Armenia: gaming zones

About a dozen amusement establishments operate in the special territories of the country. Most often, they are combined with popular resorts.

Let us review the largest casino areas in the jurisdiction:

Tsaghkadzor

It is a city in the Kotayk region. The place is considered one of the most famous ski resorts. Fans of active leisure and gambling are welcome all year round

Sevan

Many foreign tourists choose this destination because of the lake of the same name located on the territory of the city. It is also the country's largest source of freshwater.

The place was not chosen by chance: at the end of 2008, there were no more than 23,000 citizens, and the factories, built back in Soviet times, were closed one by one.

The active development of the gambling infrastructure has made a significant and positive contribution to the region's economy

Jermuk

A large resort, on the territory of which there are more than 9 hotel complexes. In 2006, the city gained additional fame due to the discovery of a new gold deposit

Meghri

It is a historical monument in the southern region of the country. The mild climate and modern infrastructure make the gambling zone one of the most attractive and popular.

An interesting fact: despite the introduction of the law, entrepreneurs can open an institution on the territory of such a large city. The only nuance is that to carry out gambling activities on a legal basis, business owners must obtain a special licence that costs $100 million

Popular Offline Casinos

The most famous gaming establishments, which operate outside the capital, are located between Yerevan and the international airport.

Among the truly spectacular and luxurious enterprises, we can name:

  1. Senator. It is part of a large entertainment complex, on the territory of which there is a casino, a restaurant, a lounge bar, etc. Guests are offered not only gambling solutions but also the opportunity to participate in various shows. Fairly exciting draws are held every Saturday. The location offers poker, roulette, blackjack, and a wide selection of slots.
  2. Shangri La Yerevan. The most respectable institution, located just 2 km from Yerevan. The level of service is as high as in the best international casinos. The complex has several dozens of slot machines, as well as restaurants with national and European cuisines. There is also a special zone for VIP clients.

Taxation System

Gambling taxes in Armenia: features

By the middle of 2018, about 2,000 citizens of the country officially worked in the gambling industry. The niche brought 1.5% of the total gross income to the public treasury (about $22 million).

Each institution is required to make fixed contributions. The Ministry of Finance is developing a unified taxation system for the sector. One of the latest changes in the field has been an increase in the cost of a gambling licence. If earlier the annual fee was about $211,000, then since 2017, entrepreneurs are required to pay about $1 million.

This had an extremely negative impact on the development of the industry. Instead of the expected money to the country's budget, the authorities achieved a massive closure of venues. Now, only 4 casinos and 3 betting shops operate on a legal basis. About 8 gaming enterprises and 200 bookmakers’ offices carry out shadow activity. They “survive” only due to their convenient location in tourist areas.

In 2018, casinos in Armenia were expected to be subject to several changes:

  • Obligatory acquisition of a local certificate for foreign operators that provide services in the country’s territory.
  • Strict control over the age thresholds of users (they should not be younger than 21 years).
  • Granting a permit for starting a gambling brand only to entrepreneurs who have invested $100,000+ in their business.
  • Creation of a unified database of participants in the local market.

Online Casinos in the State

iGaming platforms in the jurisdiction, just like offline establishments, must go through a very expensive licensing procedure. The amount of the down payment is calculated on an individual basis and depends on the characteristics and scale of the project.

An interesting fact: despite the presence of regulatory authorities and a licensing system, the certificates are issued quite rarely. There are no standards for controlling the work of foreign operators.

The local population prefers to visit land-based locations, acting with prejudice when it comes to iGaming portals. The gambling audience prefers to choose establishments with bets on sports events.

Important Nuances

The main aspects, which entrepreneurs should be aware of:

  1. Casinos in the country offer almost all kinds of entertainment: from bingo and roulette to slots, sportsbook solutions, and lotteries. The situation with the latter is ambiguous. Such draws are considered illegal in the jurisdiction but there are no fines or prosecutions for participating in them.
  2. Entrance fee. When visiting offline clubs, players must pay $100 just to access the establishment. This money is subsequently used as a deposit — they become the game chips of clients.
  3. Register for high rollers. Visitors that place $2,000 or more are required to identify themselves and save the documents on all transactions.

The Main Things about Gaming in Armenia

Gaming in Armenia: key notions

The country is recognised as a fairly promising and favourable area for both land-based and online amusement projects. Gaps in the legislative system provide very tempting prospects for new types of solutions.

Gaminator provides detailed information about the nuances of Armenian gambling taxation, the features of obtaining a working permit, and the best options for launching start-ups.

From us, you can also order:

  • high-quality software from the world’s leading vendors;
  • licensing services related to reliable foreign jurisdictions;
  • tools for integrating software products into ready-made sites;
  • profitable platforms from scratch.

Turnkey casino development is an opportunity to escape all the issues and difficulties of working in the industry. The main tasks will become the responsibility of competent specialists. We provide full legal support for the project and guarantee the success and payback of the start-up within 6 months after the beginning of cooperation.

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For all questions, please contact our managers.

Artur Zimnij
Author
Artur Zimnij
Gambling business specialist
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