Armenia Continues to Redefine iGaming Laws as Market Tops $12B

Posted on: October 27, 2023, 08:13h. 

Last updated on: October 27, 2023, 10:46h.

Armenia has spent the past couple of years developing an iGaming market, and it’s paying off. However, the $12 billion in 2022 revenue the market made could slip with the introduction of new laws now coming into effect.

A woman holding an Armenian flag
A woman holding an Armenian flag. The country is introducing new rules for its online gambling market that might cause a reduction in revenue. (Image: Public Radio of Armenia)

In Armenia, the regulation of online gambling activities is primarily governed by the Law on Games of Chance and Casinos, adopted in 2005. This legislation covers land-based and online gambling establishments, outlining licensing procedures and regulatory requirements for operators.

Last year, the Eastern European country began making changes to the market, including the introduction of higher taxes and cashless gaming. Armenia’s online gaming segment subsequently grew by 0.4%, although there are concerns that some of this may go to foreign operators. The government now wants to better understand the status of the market.

No More Foreign-Only Operators

Armenia is in the process of introducing a legislative amendment that seeks to bring foreign online casinos and bookmakers under the same regulatory framework as local companies. This initiative aims to create a level playing field in the online gambling sector.

By subjecting foreign operators to the same licensing conditions as their local counterparts, Armenia seeks to foster fair competition. It also hopes to enhance consumer protection and curb potential illicit activities within the online gambling market.

Another distinctive feature of this initiative involves a requirement for gamblers and bettors to open bank accounts for the activity. These accounts are intended to provide transparency and a means of analyzing the economic situation of gamblers.

The legislative authors argue that by having designated accounts, it becomes feasible to assess the financial impact of gambling on individuals and the overall economic landscape. This move aligns with a broader trend in the global gaming industry toward increased regulatory scrutiny and responsible gambling measures.

While the initiative signifies a proactive approach to regulating online gambling, it also raises questions about the practical implementation and potential challenges for operators and players. The requirement for special bank accounts reflects a commitment to addressing concerns related to gambling addiction and financial transparency.

Extended Cash-Free Laws

Armenia’s Parliament also took another decisive step in reshaping the landscape of online gambling. It approved a measure that mandates gamblers and bettors to exclusively fund their accounts with money originating directly from their personal accounts.

This initiative, passed this past Tuesday, represents a robust effort to enhance financial transparency and curb potential illicit activities associated with the online gambling sector. By prohibiting the use of funds from tertiary sources, the government aims to establish a more secure and accountable framework for online gaming.

Furthermore, this measure aligns with a broader philosophy of embracing cashless transactions in the realm of online gaming. In line with this approach, gamblers and bettors are now restricted from topping off their accounts with cash.

This deliberate move toward a cashless system streamlines financial processes within the online gambling sector in the country. It also aligns with global trends emphasizing the advantages of digital transactions.

However, this measure also introduces a requirement that individuals who wish to engage in online gambling must have an active bank account. For those without one, this new regulation effectively restricts their access to online gambling activities. Noncitizens are exempt from the new measures.