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Purpose of legislative proposal is specification of legal relations in game activity sphere
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For the first time it will be possible to carry out control towards any party of the game sphere and to make the all required criteria verifiable, i.e. in terms of the rights of the consumers’ interests, the activity connected with the game product, game goods, the probability of winning will be completely verifiable, and the turnovers of the companies, the volume of the bets made will become verifiable and controllable, which will have an impact on tax incomes. The Chairman of the RA State Revenue Committee Rustam Badasyan said this, presenting for debate in the first reading the legislative package designing amendments and addenda to the laws on Game Activity Regulation, on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing and to the enclosed laws.

It is designed to regulate the legal relations in the game sphere, separating and specifying the types of winning games: gambling, internet gambling, bookmaking activity, other winning games, etc. The requirements towards all groups of game activity, their peculiarities, the real beneficiaries’ rights and duties and the relevant legislative regulations relating to those groups.

According to Rustam Badasyan, the introduction of the compulsory technical standards corresponding the international criteria towards the game products and the creation of the body regulating the sphere is of key importance. It is envisaged to introduce electronic government system, which implies connection of software tools and databases of the organizers’ information systems to the monitoring centre of government electronic system of the game field. The game products connecting to the system should correspond to the international technical criteria and have relevant certificates. The SRC Chairman added that the introducing electronic government system will ensure the transparency of the field, the unnoticeable control towards the organizers, receiving information on the organizers’’ real circulations, and the protection of law beneficiaries. “Besides the well-known international term gambling and the intellectual games, all remaining winning games, the children’s game equipment, etc. are considered to be other winning game,” Rustam Badasyan recorded.

The creation of the opportunity of the participation in the game activity organized in foreign states, as well as the advertisement in the RA territory or on the whole network domain accessible to the RA will be banned. Blocking of the IP addresses is designed, in case of its impossibility the Central Bank is obliged to set control for blocking the transfers to the bank accounts belonging to the organizers of the foreign game field by the commercial banks. “There is no hundred percent functioning model in the world. We study the experience, for investing at best the solutions,” the Rapporteur said.

Restrictions of taking part in the games for the participants being RA citizen are set. Generic solutions will be offered on the bans and restrictions of taking part in the games by some groups, including the state servants or servicemen from the first to the second reading.

During the Q&A session, the MPs touched upon the protection of the consumers’ rights, the expenditures of the body regulating the field, the danger of the games with children’s winning and the possibility of their ban, the technical readiness on banning the internet platform addresses, the control of the circulation of the game sphere organizers.

Deeming concerning the growing volumes of gambling, Rustam Badasyan noted that for that purpose the notions are specified in the law, and the state duties designed for that activity are considerably increased.

The Deputy Chair of the Committee Babken Tunyan, emphasizing the regulations, opined that they are also to be a positive impetus for the companies of the sphere besides protecting the citizens. “On time, the latter were complaining much that they and the companies registered are in unequal competitive situation,” the deputy said and added that if we are able to reach the goals laid before the law, using this technical opportunities, there will be essential progress.

The Chair of the NA Standing Committee on Financial-Credit and Budgetary Affairs Gevorg Papoyan also highlighted the initiative, noting: “Of course, there are certain businesses carrying out activity, which pay taxes, create workplaces, but I am convinced that this public harm that the gambling gives, multi times, perhaps, ten times is bigger, than the benefit which mostly the public receives from it.” As the MP assessed, the state should carefully continue the strictness and policy in that direction.

In his final speech the SRC Chairman, referring to the MPs’ observations, documented: “The philosophy, yes, should be in a way that we’ll set responsible game rules, carry out in practice, the restrictions will be clever and targeted, necessary means of fight against bypass will also be. Otherwise, if we simply totally block something, all that will be moved from the legal field to the illegal field, and we won’t solve the problem facing us, we’ll have fiscal consequences.” The effective organization the implementation process was emphasized.

An agreement was reached to discuss the issues with all concerned parties, including the organizers of game activity from the first to the second reading.

The legislative package was endorsed by the Committee.

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