Active players: 650.000
Currency: Georgian Lari (GEL)
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, casino games, horse racing, lottery
Operator types: Licensed & unlicensed online betting sites and casinos, land-based betting shops & casinos
Designated authority: Revenue Service
Georgia is a country that was part of the Soviet Union up until 1991 when it declared its independence. It is the homeland of famous athletes, like the retired football legends Kakha Kaladze and Shota Arveladze and basketball players Zaza Pachulia and Tornike Shengelia. Georgians have a great love for sports, mainly for football and rugby. During the Soviet era, there was little gambling activity in the country with just one casino and no betting whatsoever. Things took a turn for the better after 1991, when several betting shops and casinos started emerging. Slowly but steadily, a strong betting environment developed in Georgia.
However, the first law to regulate online betting sites in Georgia was not introduced up until 2005. The Revenue Service was appointed as the official authority to oversee all gambling-related activities and issue the appropriate licenses. So far, there are quite a few licensed online bookmakers in the country, like Adjarabet, Crystalbet and Vivarobet. Local punters however, don’t miss out on placing their bets at international bookies like 1xBet and 888sport, in their search for more diversity.
Betting in Georgia - 5 things to know
- Legal minimum gambling age is 18
- Over 40% of the adult population engages in gambling on a monthly basis
- Betting and gambling revenue represent around 10% of the country’s income
- Local betting shops are very appealing to Turkish punters who often cross the border to bet
- The growth of online betting and gambling in 2018 was of over 300% compared to 2017
Best betting sites Georgia
After meticulously checking all the top-quality Georgian betting sites, we’re showcasing the ones that offer the GEL currency, Georgian language, very high odds, as well as a wide array of betting markets and promotions.
Online betting Georgia: The gambling law framework
The law in effect today is the 2005 ‘Law of Georgia on Organizing Lotteries, gaming and winning games’. Initially put into effect on March 25, 2005, this gambling legislation received plenty of amendments over time. The latest one came in 2011 and introduced a plan to expand gambling in the country through tax exemptions for operators opening betting shops and casinos in rural areas.
Even though there were plans to ban online gambling and restrict gambling ads, there were no steps taken in that direction. Moreover, even if online operators are obliged to have a land-based analog in order to receive a license, there are no measures taken against unlicensed operators. This means that international non-licensed bookies are not restricted in Georgia and there’s plenty of local competition too, with sportsbooks like Adjarabet.ge, Crystalbet.ge, Vivarobet.ge, Totogaming and Europebet. So, when talking about sports betting, Georgia gives its players plenty of options to choose from.
Online bookmakers don’t pay any licensing fee. However, betting shops are targeted with an annual operation fee that can vary from GEL 40.000 to GEL 300.000 depending on the region. Sports betting is not taxed in Georgia, while other forms of gambling such as casinos or lotteries are taxed through a complex model that takes location and revenue into consideration.
Essential information for Georgian bettors
Winnings from sports betting, along with lottery winnings of over GEL 1.000, are taxed with 10%. However, this tax only applies if you bet on licensed bookmakers. As long as you opt for an international betting site in Georgia, you shouldn’t worry about any taxes or fees. Ever since 2018, the authorities have been trying to clamp down on money laundering and excessive gambling. However, all the legislative proposals or discussions have been mainly targeting the casino industry. With no restrictions towards betting on international bookies, Georgian bettors can place their bets on any bookie that seems best for them.
Georgia bet: How to deposit at online bookies
Pick any sportsbook Georgia has to offer and you will find numerous payment options to top-up your account. Even though there are no restrictions on using credit or debit cards, Georgian bettors are big fans of e-wallets since they offer faster processing times and anonymity. The most popular ones are Skrill, Neteller and Qiwi. No matter what deposit option you choose, bookmakers like 1xBet and Betwinner will allow you to bet using the GEL currency. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about currency conversion fees.
The future of online betting in Georgia
It looks like the Georgian authorities have found a balance between the local licensed bookmakers and the non-licensed operators. Since there are no restrictions for the latter, punters are free to choose where to place their bets. Do keep in mind though, that your winnings will be taxed at 10% when betting with local bookies. Issuing licenses to more international bookies would be beneficial for both the internal competition and the state budget. However, there are no signs that the authorities are moving towards this direction and the offshore operators aren’t eager to apply for a license either. Therefore, it is on the state's discretion to decide how it wants to shape the future of the country's online betting market.
The complete list of Georgian bookmakers
1xBet is one of the few international bookmakers that allow Georgian punters to place bets by using the local currency and enjoy the entire process without worrying about currency exchange fees. Furthermore, it offers the Georgian language.
No, unfortunately 22Bet does not accept Georgian players. Therefore, you cannot place your bets on it if you reside in Georgia. However, Betwinner serves as a great alternative for local bettors.
There are no restrictions in enjoying 888sport in Georgia. Players can simply create an account and enjoy the world-class services offered by this bookmaker; namely, 40+ sports to bet on, 95% payout on top leagues and 20+ payment methods.
In Georgia online sports betting is far from being a monopoly. More specifically, there are a few local bookmakers that hold a license to operate in the country and various international sportsbooks that are unlicensed.
Yes, when placing their bets on licensed bookmakers, players pay a 10% tax on their winnings. Nevertheless, this tax doesn’t apply when betting online on international non-licensed sportsbooks, such as 1xBet and Betwinner.