While gambling is developing nicely in Armenia, the Parliament decides to voice its opinion on the business.
Armenian gambling industry is enjoying a period of rapid development. The business is governed and regulated by the Ministry of Finance and Economy. The biggest spike in gambling licenses, which were awarded to Armenian operators, happened in 2006-2008 period when the number of licensees almost doubled.
It has been widely anticipated that by the year 2012 Armenian gambling laws will prescribe all casinos to be moved to the tourist regions of the country: Tsaghkadzor, Jermuk, and Sevan. However, these law amendments still haven’t passed through the Parliament.
The same law proposal also contained stipulations putting gambling halls and casinos in at least 500 meters from educational and cultural establishments, governmental buildings, and hospitals. The minimum casino space was set at 250 square meters, and gambling hall – at 100 square meters.
The document also contains a change to the way gambling establishments are taxed. Instead of a range of different fixed payments, all casinos and gambling halls will have to pay a unified fee to the government. The size of this fee will depend on how far the gambling establishment is from the capital Erevan.
The status of the gambling laws changes
Deputy Finance Minister, Vardan Aramyan, was the one to present the changes in taxation of casinos to the Parliament. According to him, the government coffers could lose as much as AMD 5 billion as the result of the previously proposed changes. His scheme of casino taxation will allow to minimize the risk of casinos going bankrupt because of the necessity to move outside of Erevan.
Armenian gambling news have also reported that there has been a meeting between the owners of major Armenian casinos and Tigran Sargsyan, the Armenian Prime Minister. After this meeting, Sargsyan empowered the Finance Minister, Vache Gabrielyan, with a task of postponing the new law proposal until 2014.
The Prime Minister also suggest that the casino owners take active part in drawing up the new law proposal and provide the Finance Ministry with all the necessary documentation and suggestions. The end result will have to reflect the current gambling laws of other countries, and contain detailed regulations with strict rules for each and every gambling activity.