Batumi increases casino fees to maximum level, angering operators
The city of Batumi in Georgia has doubled fees for gaming tables and slot machines, angering operators.
Gambling licence fees in Georgia are administered by the central government, but additional table and slot machine fees are handled at municipal level.
Fees for gaming tables are set between a range of GEL20,000 (£6,100/€6,900/$7,400) and GEL40,000.
Fees per slot machines are set in a range between GEL2,000 and GEL4,000.
Georgian capital Tbilisi sets its fees around the maximum threshold. Batumi, on the other hand, used to set its fees around the minimum, in a bid to attract investment. This had helped Batumi become one of Europe’s major gaming destinations.
At the beginning of this year, however, the Batumi municipal council increased the taxes towards the maximum threshold.
Operators complained that they were not consulted and only found out about this development from the news.
One operator said that, while the government hopes to increase revenue, the total amount collected could fall below expectations.
Doubling taxation will not result in the doubling of revenue, they said, adding that higher taxes will likely dent investment and slow down the sector’s growth.