Date: 29.04.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

Last update: 08.05.2024 12:05

Uzbekistan Prepares for 2025 Gambling Regime Rollout

Republic of Uzbekistan is set to end its 17-year ban on gambling, following a decree signed by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. This legislative move is aimed at establishing a regulated gambling environment starting January 1, 2025.

Decree Details and Implementation Plans

President Mirziyoyev’s administration has appointed the Prospective Projects National Agency (NAPP) to oversee this new gambling regime. The agency will be responsible for monitoring market activities and managing licensing processes.

This development follows years of prohibition initiated in 2007 by former President Islam Karimov, who banned all forms of gambling. Since then, the current government has been working towards creating a regulated system that allows both residents and non-residents aged 18 and over to engage in licensed gambling ventures.

Revitalization of Uzbek Sports Through Gambling

Initially, a standalone sports betting regime was set to launch in 2021 with the goal of revitalizing Uzbek football and other sports. However, delays occurred due to administrative challenges in determining the overseeing department. This has since been resolved with the comprehensive decree drafted by the Oliy Majlis (Parliament), which not only covers sports betting but all forms of gambling.

During the interim, Uzbek football and sports clubs were permitted to secure sponsorships from foreign betting companies, fulfilling a part of the 2021 Decree aimed at modernizing sports infrastructure and athlete development programs.

Fiscal Policies and Consumer Benefits

The new decree outlines that from 2025, gambling organizers will be taxed at 4% of their revenue after deductions for paid winnings and refunded stakes.

Importantly, individual winnings from gambling activities will be exempt from income tax, creating a more favorable environment for participants.

As part of the preparations for the new regime, NAPP is tasked with collaborating with the Department for Combating Economic Crimes to enhance laws and practices that prevent financial crimes and money laundering associated with gambling.

Market Potential and Economic Impact

The 4H Agency, a CIS gambling consultancy, has expressed a positive outlook on Uzbekistan’s market potential.

With over 90% of its population under the age of 60 and a digital connectivity rate of 72%, Uzbekistan is poised to become a dynamic marketplace within the CIS region.

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