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Gambling and Crime Go Hand in Hand in Tajikistan

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Most Tajik casinos have become hubs of criminal and drug related activities due to lack of state regulation.

The majority of casino players in Tajikistan are the so-called “golden youth” and businessmen. Knowing their background it is no wonder that almost every week casinos witness incidents leading to fights and even murder.

The uncertain situation with gambling industry in the country doesn’t help either. There is a draft law banning casinos and other gambling establishments, but under current Tajik gambling laws these places are still open for business.

Tajik population possesses thousands of units of unaccounted weapons left over from the civil war. Gambling leading to huge losses, ultimately leads to rise in criminal activity, where busted players are robbing and murdering people in order to maintain their gambling addiction. There have been many cases when young people were wagering away everything their families have.

Casinos become criminal hubs

It’s a well-known fact in Tajikistan that some casinos and gambling dens serve as drug distribution points. Moreover, in the country where corruption is very common, such activities are not only not fought with by law enforcement, but are even assisted by them. Another sad fact is that there around 30 cases of suicides each year in casinos because of total busts.

The current state when casinos are operating on semi-legal terms it’s virtually impossible for the state to regulate and control them. Only criminal organizations have enough money to open and run casinos in Tajikistan, especially when there’s no clear licensing and taxation procedures.

Unless Tajikistan reevaluates its approach to the gambling industry, the state will continue to lose millions in gambling taxes, and watch criminal elements getting richer. A well thought-out set of regulations is needed for both land-based and online casinos in Tajikistan.

Once the gambling business is regulated and overseen by the government, only then can Tajik casinos transform into what they should be – entertainment venues, rather than the criminal hubs the majority of them is right now.

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