The battle against criminal gangs exploiting the gambling industry is an increasingly high priority for many regulators, and the Caucausian nation of Georgia has become the latest to announce a significant push to tackle the problem.
According to reports in the Georgian media, the Ministry of Finance has announced a new plan that aims to cut some of the money laundering problems associated with the gambling sector. The Georgia Minister of Finance, Ivane Matchavariani, has outlined a new initiative that will help to crack down on the problem, partly through bringing in new regulations, which he says are an important part of the battle against organised crime. He also emphasised that better regulation would help to tackle the problem of gambling addiction in the country.
Among the measures put forward by the Minister are a plan to register and verify all customers of gambling operators in the country. The government also hope to develop a database of those with gambling difficulties and to more tightly control the flow of funds.
Speaking about the measures, Marchavariani said that the sector needed to be more tightly regulated as it was vulnerable to money laundering, and these measures would help the country in that fight, though he emphasised that his Ministry was aiming to find the right balance of regulation:
“That is why it is important to find the golden average of the regulation that achieves goals and avoids negative factors such as criminal growth.”
The announcement of new proposals in this area follow the decision by the country’s leading broadcaster not to accept gambling advertisement. Georgian Public Broadcasting made the decision last year, stating that they were aiming to promote a ‘healthy lifestyle’. The ban became effective at the start of this year and will severely restrict the ability of gambling operators to promote their products to citizens of Georgia.