Gambling market in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is one of the most promising markets for gambling among the former CIS countries. The country is home to approximately 30 million people. Many of the residents, especially those living in urban areas, speak Russian well.
Since Islam is the main religion in Uzbekistan, the situation with gambling is not easy. Land and online casinos are prohibited throughout the country. Only lotteries and the Russian lotto, which is called Bingo, are allowed.
Violation of the ban is subject to criminal liability. However, the population has a demand for gambling. Offline people have fun betting on semi-legal dog and rooster fights. Online a little easier – you can easily get to many bookmaker sites and casinos. Winnings can be displayed on electronic wallets. That’s just these winnings better not to boast, as for the players in the casino in the country also violate the law on gambling.
The government blocks mobile messengers, making it difficult to exchange information between players and promote new sites. However, many in Uzbekistan already know how to circumvent these restrictions.
Legal Gambling Zone in Muynak City
In early 2019 the government of Uzbekistan made its first attempts to legalize offline casinos in the country. It was assumed that within a few years the closed gambling zone would work. It was to be located near the city of Muynak. Construction was, to begin with, support from investors from the UAE. Besides casinos, it was planned to build hotels, sports facilities, and even an airport.
As of early 2020, construction has not yet started. First, it is necessary to prepare the legislative base. It is planned to finish the preparation of necessary documents and the adoption of corresponding laws by the end of this year. But the next world economic crisis may already affect the construction plans.
Legalization of the betting
Every year, Uzbekistan is increasingly paying attention to the potential financial benefits of legalizing gambling. And this is even spoken about in the government. In his interviews, Deputy Prime Minister Aziz Abdukhakimov repeatedly said, “Uzbekistan is losing money because of the lack of legal bookmaker offices.
Many people are just deliberately violating the law and betting on the internet, the deputy prime minister said. The rich and law-abiding are simply spending money on bets and casinos abroad. However, if the necessary conditions are created, the money could stay in the country and go to the Uzbek budget in the form of taxes. With this approach, everyone would win, Abdukhakimov said.
Uzbekistan loses up to the US $50m in potential budget revenues annually, the deputy prime minister estimated. That’s why the legalization of bookmakers’ activities should begin in 2021. As with offline gambling zones, the lack of the necessary legislative framework is still preventing the process from accelerating.
The results of
Among many other Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan stands out for its attitude towards gambling. The authorities are taking steps to legalize bookmakers and casinos. While in Kazakhstan, for example, the rules have been tightening over the past year.
In the future, Uzbekistan may come to partial or full legalization of gambling, including the online segment, in just a few years. It is possible to start promoting websites and applications-oriented to this market today.