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Gaming Sector in Georgia: Market Review

Gaming Sector in Georgia: Market Review

Updated 13/03/2023
The local entertainment niche was legalised more than 25 years ago and during this time, it has shown impressive growth. The country is rightfully considered one of the most promising regions for investing in the industry.

Its history goes back to the times of the Soviet Union. The growth of the sector was practically not controlled by the state, and the first attempts to “tame” it were made only around the beginning of the new millennium. An interesting fact: the government considered the prospects of a complete ban on the niche for a long time but eventually abandoned this initiative.

Gambling business in Georgia: features

Georgia is one of the most promising regions for investing in gambling projects. Gaminator specialists have collected data about the legal regulation of the niche, the current form of taxation, and the nuances of the online segment.

We will talk about the details of licensing, commission fees, and the best local venues further in this article. From us, you can also order a turnkey project development.

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Gambling in Georgia: General Information

The organisation of games for money of all types and formats brings an integral part of the income to the public treasury. This state of affairs was facilitated by a series of political reforms in 2004, which made it possible to defeat corruption and reduce the local level of crime as much as possible. According to the Gallup World rating, Georgia currently ranks 3rd in the list of the safest countries in the world.

Casino licensing has become one of the main reasons for the popularisation of the industry and the increase in the influx of tourists. In 2022 alone, more than 4 million people visited the state, which is almost equal to the entire Georgian population.

The main factors that contribute to the growth of casino entertainment in the jurisdiction are:

  1. Well-developed tourism sector. Due to the excellent climatic conditions, high level of security, and good infrastructure, the country always has many tourists and, accordingly, players.
  2. Neighbouring territories where gambling is considered illegal: Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan. Thanks to this, the flow of foreign users remains high all the time.
  3. Transparent tax system and impressive volume of the market. Forbes ranked the country fourth in the list of regions with the lowest tax burden: a casino brand can be launched here in just 1 day.
  4. Provision of a wide range of benefits for investors.

How to Implement a Gaming Project in the Country

The local government has made the main economic emphasis on the promotion of the tourism sector. At the same time, casino games are officially considered a basic element of the entertainment industry — they are not bound by any limits.

Foreign investors also note the absence of such negative phenomena as corruption and bureaucratic delays. To launch an independent project, entrepreneurs just need to write and file an application to the Revenue Service and then obtain a licence. The request is submitted electronically, and the permit is also issued in a digital format.

As a rule, the regulator makes a decision within 20 days. It is done for free. If operators need an expedited service, the document can be considered within 1–10 days (for an additional fee of $160–800).

The price of the certificate depends on the chosen region. In smaller cities, a permit costs 10 times less than in Tbilisi where the cost of the service can reach $2 million. Each type of activity requires a separate licence.

The validity periods of such certificates depend on the selected niche.

Type of the business area

Validity of the permit

Casinos (digital resources as well)

5 years

Gambling halls

5 years

Offline bookmakers’ offices

5 years

Bingo rooms

5 years

Lotteries

12 months

Taxation of the Sector

Gambling taxation in Georgia: nuances

Levies are divided into 3 main categories: quarterly, annual, and current fees. The amount of state duties depends on the selected region. Some business owners are completely exempt from paying taxes if there is a hotel with 80–100 rooms built on the territory of the entertainment complex (the situation is relevant for Kazbegi, Kobuleti, and Tskaltubo).

Quarterly fee:

  • Gaming table — $6–12,000 per unit.
  • Hardware devices — about $500,000.
  • Equipment for a location with board games — up to $2,000.
  • Lottery draws — 10% of the fixed prize pool.

Annual fee:

  • Casinos — $40,000.
  • Slots — $20,000.
  • Establishments with board games — $4,000.
  • Betting shops — $12,000.
  • Bingo halls and lottery draws — about $6,000.

The amount of the annual fee is about 20% of the total income of the gambling location.

Operators are provided with some additional benefits as well. For example, places with hardware equipment are not subject to income tax and commissions from paid winnings. Bookmakers’ offices are exempt from quarterly taxes and there is a minimum commission of 5% for virtual sportsbook platforms.

It is also necessary to pay:

  • levies on staff salaries and winnings (20%);
  • deductions for real estate objects (1%);
  • income tax (15%).

Gaming Options in Batumi

The whole niche is concentrated in this city. According to statistics, every year, the heart of Adjara is visited by over half a million tourists. About 20% of the total number of players is accounted for by foreign users, and the remaining 80% are representatives of the local population.

The main incentives for the growth of the industry in Batumi are low taxes and a large number of benefits for the construction and subsequent operation of amusement complexes. There are no prohibitions in this case. The sector brings to the state treasury about $80 million annually. The cost of a licence is only $101,000.

There are 12 gambling establishments in Batumi:

The name of the enterprise

Brief information

Leogrand Hotel & Casino Batumi

The largest international complex in Georgia and the Caucasus. The chic two-story establishment offers:

  • 24 tables;
  • 280 slot machines;
  • VIP zone of 500 square metres.

There is also a hotel with 260 rooms, a huge parking area, a spa, Turkish baths, and a sauna

Iveria Casino Batumi & Radisson Blu Hotel

The establishment has 14 gaming tables and about 130 hardware devices. There is also a hotel with 168 rooms, premium conference halls, 2 restaurants, and a children's area

Hilton Hotel & Casino International Batumi

It is decorated in a neutral European style and offers 13 gaming tables and 105 slots. Its special feature is a unique electronic roulette

Peace Casino & Sheraton Hotel Batumi

The range of entertainment is represented by 20 tables and 90 slots. There is a hotel complex with 202 rooms, a nightclub, and a comfortable recreation area with a swimming pool and spa

Golden Palace Hotel & Casino Batumi

The offered product range pleases clients with a wide variety of card games. There are also 80 slots, a hotel complex, and entertainment areas. The main emphasis is placed on spectacular dance shows

Casino Campione Batumi

The exterior of the building is made in the form of a stylisation under an ocean liner. The casino has a large selection of card entertainment and offers its visitors an opportunity to hit the progressive jackpot when playing slot machines

Intourist Grand Palace Casino Batumi

Here, you can enjoy card games and slot machines for every taste in a round-the-clock mode. There are also many bars and an amazingly beautiful Bakuriani winter garden

Casino President

The complex pleases players with a standard set of card entertainment and electronic roulette. The institution regularly hosts poker tournaments, the prize amounts of which reach $10,000

Casino Ajarabet

It has electronic versions of popular table games and the ability to place sports bets. Each player can cover burnt bets (spins on a special prize reel). Users are also offered a jackpot of $45,000

Europe-bet

Virtual service with excellent functionality. Customers can enjoy various board games: from traditional cards to backgammon and dominoes. Sports betting solutions and the possibility of participating in lottery draws are also available

Casino Sputnik

It is combined with a hotel complex. The institution has been welcoming gamblers since 2008

Colosseum Marina Hotel

The key feature of the casino is a hotel complex with 101 rooms, which looks like the ancient Roman Colosseum. Visitors have access to a nightclub, tennis court, and restaurant zones

In the near future, there will be almost 2 times more entertainment facilities. Major brands in Austria, Turkey, and the Netherlands consider the territory of Adjara the most profitable and successful. According to forecasts, the annual amount of investment in the region will exceed $370 million quite soon.

iGaming in Georgia

iGaming in Georgia: peculiarities

The digital sector is considered to be no less promising direction but the local gambling law imposes a restriction. Only owners of already existing offline locations can provide entertainment services in electronic format.

All available channels are used to support gaming sites: the Internet, mobile platforms, relevant applications, and terminals. Access to any offshore zones is forbidden.

There is a special form of taxation for the niche: only quarterly fees must be paid. The amount of deductions directly depends on the location of the offline enterprise. For example, the maximum tax rate is set for entrepreneurs from Tbilisi ($127,000). Additionally, current fees must be paid. Among them, there is a levy on the content of an electronic resource ($13,000–26,000).

The Main Things about Owning a Gaming Project in the Country

Statistics show that in just 5 years, the turnover of the local casino sector has increased to $3.687 billion, and experts believe that these figures will only grow.

The regulator has created the most loyal and comfortable working conditions for entrepreneurs. Despite the proximity of popular regions, Georgia is a worthy competitor and is of significant interest to foreign investors.

To learn more about the current state of affairs in the country’s casino market, licensing, and other issues, feel free to contact Gaminator specialists. We offer qualified support at all stages of launching a start-up.

From us, it is also possible to order the following useful services:

  • development of unique HTML5 games;
  • creation of a turnkey gambling platform;
  • drafting a well-thought-out business plan;
  • promotion of already existing projects, and much more.

Order service

For all questions, please contact our managers.

Artur Zimnij
Author
Artur Zimnij
Gambling business specialist
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