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Armenia tightens gambling laws

The Government of the Republic of Armenia at night

There is bad news for gamblers and betting operators in the Caucasus nation of Armenia, where the rules on betting have been tightened up by the national government.

According to the ARKA News Agency the government has given approval to a series of amendments that will significantly alter the nation’s gambling laws. In particular, gambling operators are set to face much stiffer regulation around both lotteries and advertising.

The terms of the new amendments state that only local operators will have permission to advertise their betting services in Armenia. The amendments also require that all advertising is aimed at those aged 21 or over, and gambling-related television and radio adverts cannot be broadcast outside of the 10pm to 6am time slot. Any company found in breach of the rules could face a $1,800 fine.

Law on Lotteries

As well as the new rules on advertising, amendments have been proposed to the existing laws concerning the location of lottery gaming. The current ‘Law on Lotteries’ will be amended to permit lottery gambling only in specific areas: Tsakhkadzor, Sevan, Jermuk and Meghri.

According to ARKA, the aim of the government was to use gambling to help boost tourism in the resort cities of Tsakhkadzor, Sevan and Jermuk, and to improve the infrastructure of Meghri.

The proposed changes follow January’s vote in the Armenia National Assembly which unanimously opted to increase the minimum gambling age in the country to 21, for all adults betting on sports or playing a lottery-type game. In addition to the changes, operators faced higher fines if they breached gambling law, set at $4,200 for the first offence.

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