Gambling Advertising Ban Reduces Georgian TV Revenues

The total advertising revenue of broadcasters in Georgia decreased by 12.5% in Q1 2023, to 15.6 million GEL (about $6 million), compared to the same period last year. 

In accordance with the country’s National Communications Commission, gambling advertising restrictions on television and radio are the cause of the decline in advertising revenues. 

TV channels received 14.1 million GEL from commercial advertising in Q1, which is 2.2 million GEL less than in the same period last year.

Upon the initiative of Georgia’s prime minister, new regulations came into force on March 1, 2022 banning gambling ads on TV, Georgian web pages, and outdoors. Only sponsorship agreements are allowed. 

Prior to the regulation change, a large portion of television and radio income came from gambling operators.

The main purpose of the regulation was to ban Georgian citizens under 25 years of age and socially vulnerable groups from online gambling. However, the state’s goal was not achieved, as only business, industry, and the media were harmed.

“We have repeatedly asked the government to allow certain types of gambling advertising. In the digital environment, there are quite a few tools that allow you to restrict advertising. However, at the moment, the government does not consider our proposals,” said Giorgi Mamulaishvili, head of the Georgian Gambling Association (GGA).

He also noted that such restrictions are very attractive to illegal operators. According to Mamulaishvili, approximately 720 illegal companies are trying to enter the Georgian market right now.

“There was a loss of about one billion GEL to such sites last year. A lot of money went towards illegal sites due to their high margins – 40-45%,” he added.

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