The Central Asian country is undergoing rapid growth, with the gambling industry being one example.
While Kazakhstan’s GDP grew by an impressive 6 percent in 2013, both the President and Prime Minister have stressed the need for economic diversification and increased development in technology and innovation.
Much of the Central Asian country’s growth has come on the back of energy exports. While that is all well and fine, most economists argue that growth in the service sector is needed to propel the economy forward.
Enter gambling. The activity has been legal in most forms since Kazakhstan seceded from the Soviet Union in 1991. Reports show that gambling via electronic betting terminals, land-based casinos featuring Kazakhstani poker rooms, and sportsbetting shops enjoy a high degree of popularity.
More regulation for a popular industry
Gambling employs many people, and in its legal forms provides significant tax revenue to the state. However, attempts at regulation have accelerated in recent years. In 2007 Kazakhstani gambling laws were revised, with new laws forcing all land-based casinos to relocate into two specially designated betting zones.
In addition, regulators are alarmed by the increasing presence of betting shops and underage gamblers, and have mulled increasing regulatory standards to prevent undesirable social consequences.
While the economic growth means that more people in the country have disposable income to use for betting, the government does not appear to see this as a positive development. While gambling will continue to be legal, expect increased regulation in the future.