Gambling and betting operators in Armenia have been hit with a massive restriction as authorities have approved the ban on the use of cash for gambling purposes. The Bill is set to be put in effect in 10 days and this decision is set to change the gambling landscape in the country. This cash gambling ban has been a work in progress for the past couple of months.
Winnings Will Also Be Paid in Non-cash
Introducing the ban on cash is a way to reduce gambling harm and trace all transactions. Sixty-seven deputies voted in favor of the new bill, which was submitted by MPs Tsovinar Vardanyan and Gevorg Papoyan (Civil Contract members).
Apart from not being able to use cash to gamble, players won’t have the option of receiving their winnings in cash as well. Moreover, the bill states that electronic cash and payment terminals will be gone in the next six months and the only option through which gamblers will be able to receive their winnings is via bank transfers.
Papoyan confirmed that the goal behind this bill is to protect citizens that are prone to developing gambling harm. He added that at the moment, Armenians can place bets via electronic money, cash and non-cash. After the law is in effect, cash will be taken out of the equation, leaving gamblers with the two remaining options.
Then, six months later, electronic money will also be banned and the only option that Armenian gamblers will have at their disposal will be non-cash, Papoyan clarified.
Armenia Has a Very Strict Gambling Market
Armenian authorities have been extremely active in 2022 in their quest to make sure that the gambling industry is well-regulated and that people are protected from potential gambling harm. A couple of months ago, lawmakers approved a gambling advertising ban.
With the new restrictions, gambling ads will only be permitted in hotels that are 4 stars or higher, on company websites, borders and on the facades of buildings where gambling is offered. This ban was not welcomed very well as both gambling operators and advertising companies expressed their concerns.
Advertising companies were pretty vocal. They stated that gambling companies need a lot of advertising and hence, are responsible for 60% to 70% of their total revenue. The Armenian government opposed this argument by saying that the figure is actually between 20% and 25%. According to Papoyan, who’s been pushing for gambling reforms quite a lot, these restrictions will benefit the country as they will also protect the youth. He elaborated that non-cash payments can only be used by people of legal age as minors are not allowed to open an maintain bank accounts.