Vadim Potapenko, Slotegrator Sales Director.
One of the major changes to the newly enacted Georgian gambling regulations is the obligation for software providers to maintain a legal presence in the country, said Vadim Potapenko, sales director of Slotegrator.
In a letter to CasinoBeats, he explains why the online casino software provider and aggregator "quickly met" such a requirement and summarizes the other major changes to the regulations that will come into effect in 2021.
A number of changes that were approved by Georgian regulators in June 2020 are now going into effect. Aside from an updated fee and payment schedule, one of the key changes is the requirement that software providers such as online casino operators have a legal presence in the country – a requirement that the leading software provider and aggregator Slotegrator was able to quickly meet.
With comparatively low regulations and taxes for gambling providers, the Georgian gambling industry has largely focused on players coming from countries where gambling has been severely restricted or illegal. The last year, which has undoubtedly troubled economies everywhere, has given the online gambling sector a huge boost – and growing demand often leads to increased regulation.
The growing importance of the online sector is more focused on the local customer. The online sector in Georgia is closely linked to businesses on land. Licensed operators on land can offer online gambling services without having to purchase a separate license. Offshore operators cannot legally offer their service to Georgians, which prevents foreign companies from flooding the market with competition.
Change package No. 07-2 / 486/9
As early as June 2020, the Georgian government passed a series of amendments to the Gambling Act, the Law on Licenses and Permits, the Law on Fees for Gambling Transactions, the Law on Licenses and Permit Fees, and the Administrative Code of Georgia. These measures will gradually come into force from January 2021.
The first change that will affect the entire industry is that not only operators but also solution providers for the gaming industry must now be brought into the country. These companies must comply with the rules and regulations and obtain a work permit for the country.
This means that in order to set up a business in Georgia, a foreign operator not only needs help with opening a legal entity in the country, but also works with a provider who has already gone through a similar process and can legally offer Igaming services.
While other providers may have encountered difficulties SlotegratorHaving already established a presence in the region, she was able to quickly adapt to the decision.
In Georgia, Slotegrator provides legal integration of slots and live dealer games from the world's leading developers, as well as legal and administrative support for operators looking to obtain a license, permit or certification.
Electronic control system
The changes also describe the electronic control system put in place by regulators. This serves to ensure compliance with the regulations by suppliers and operators. While the legal framework for the system is already in place in the changes, the system itself has not yet been implemented.
It is now necessary to obtain an authorization certificate from the selected person in order to be able to work legally. The selected person is a company that performs software inspections and ensures that the inner workings of the platform meet the standards set by law.
The selected person is entitled to charge fees for their services, which both operators and suppliers are obliged to pay. However, the amounts are not arbitrary. While the selected person determines the fee to be paid, it must be within the limits prescribed by the government.
The Georgian Financial Service also needs a copy of the agreement between the selected person and the operator and is expected to be informed of any change to this agreement within two days. These requirements are formulated in the amendments to the Gambling Act and in Article 24 / 1.3. The changes will come into effect in full by March 2021.
The changes mean that aggregators and solution providers are part of the same legal framework as online casino operators.
In response to the news, Slotegrator agreed to adapt to the new measures and continued to offer APIgrator, an API solution for integrating games for online casinos in Georgia. In this way, an operator can ensure that he is working with a certified and transparent technical partner and offer products that pass the Georgian software inspection and certification process.
One of the most important pieces of information for the operators is that the changes include an updated fee structure. There are annual and quarterly fees for gambling activities in Georgia. While the annual fee is fixed and must be paid regularly in equal installments, the quarterly cost depends on the type of gambling and the region in which the casino is located.
Click to read Slotegrator's full article on the updated Georgian legal landscape HERE.