ArmInfo."Wherever I was during the pre-election period, all without exception set before me the task of resolving the issue with the bookmakers," Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview with representatives of the sphere protesting against the new regulations.
According to the Prime Minister, the wives complained that the husbands receive wages, but she does not reach the family, because people manage to spend them on the way home, making contributions to the bookmakers. In Kapan, even the head of government witnessed the fact that almost every yard has gaming machines or betting points.
In response, representatives of the sphere stated that the new legislative regulations would not resolve issues. At the same time, they stated that this policy was not in tune with the strategy to increase employment announced by the new government. In addition, they saw in the actions of the project initiators a tendency to monopolize the sphere.
As a result, it was decided to form the proposals of the representatives of the bookmakers on page 1-2 and pass on to the assistant Prime Minister. The head of government assured that "he will personally read the letter and, if there are logical, acceptable decisions, he will accept the employees of the bookmakers".
To recall back in November 2018, MP Naira Zohrabyan ("Prosperous Armenia" faction), NA Vice-Speaker Alen Simonyan and MP Sipan Pashinyan ("My Step" Faction) in the framework of the fight against gambling, they launched a legislative initiative aimed at tightening the conditions for organizing lotteries. According to Alen Simonyan, the concepts of "playing hall" and "bookmaker office" are streamlined by the bill. The document provides, in particular, to block the sites of gambling organizers in public places, as well as to limit payment in cash. It is planned after the document comes into force within six months to completely withdraw all slot machines from Yerevan, and within a year all bookmakers. It is completely prohibited to betting shop, whose activity will be allowed in four tourist zones - Meghri, Sevan, Jermuk and Tsakhkadzor. Advertising of gambling by foreign companies is also prohibited. Providers will have the right to disable certain gambling on the Internet. Introduced and restrictions on advertising of gambling, games with winnings and casinos. Eligible for participation in these games are persons over the age of 21. Organizers of games with winnings undertake to require identity documents from this category of persons. In addition, relatives and friends of people suffering from ludomania, will be entitled through court to seek a ban on their participation in gambling. To protect the interests of the participants in the games, a state duty is set at 500 million drams. For violation of the provisions of the law, there are large penalties, up to the revocation of the license and the suspension of the activities of the games with a win.
Meanwhile, the other day at a meeting of the permanent parliamentary commission on economic issues, Chairman Babken Tunyan stated that the law would be relaxed - in each metropolitan administrative region and in regional centers they would leave one office from each bookmaker office. After a year, the points will gradually begin to close - first in the regional centers, then in Yerevan. According to Tunyan, about 85% of game bets in Armenia are made online, the remaining 15% through betting shops. Moreover, the dynamics of online betting is gradually increasing. According to MP from the block "My step" Hayk Sargsyan, if in 2010 the turnover of all the betting companies taken together was 14 billion drams, then in 2018 this number reached 306 billion drams, that is, it grew by 23 times. According to him, out of these 306 billion drams, only 4 billion drams go to the budget, that is, 1.4% of the turnover.
Earlier Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan repeatedly pointed out the need to change the structure of the country's economy, in which one of the important places belongs to the gaming business. According to him, the new government of Armenia did not manage to maintain the previous high rates of economic activity, since it was compiled on the basis of bets placed on sweepstakes. As a result, as he noted, many live owing to numerous bookmakers.