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Baku/29.12.21/Turan: On December 27, the Milli Mejlis adopted an amendment to the law "On Telecommunications" prohibiting access to lottery and sports sites. According to the amendment, Internet service providers and telecom operators must prevent the organization and conduct of gambling through telecommunications services.

The amendment includes the organization of gambling or the sale of tickets, participation in gambling, including access to the virtual environment in the country, foreign lottery organizers and sports betting operators. By blocking access to sports betting sites and foreign lotteries, the government is also trying to create a monopoly in this area, according to some experts.

There is only one structure in Azerbaijan that conducts lottery games. This is the Azerlotereya Open Joint Stock Company, established by the decree of President Ilham Aliyev in 2001 and owned by the state. According to the decree, the founder of the OJSC is the Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the activity of issuing, organizing and conducting all types of lotteries (with the exception of lotteries accompanied by the sale of goods and rendering services) in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan is carried out by OJSC Azerlotereya.

The OJSC was established in order to improve lottery activities in the Republic of Azerbaijan, consistently ensure the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, increase revenues to the state budget from holding lotteries and further strengthen state control in the field of lottery activities.

And in February 2021, Azerlotereya OJSC, owned by the Turkish Ministry of Economy "Demirören Şans Oyunları Yatırımları A.Ş." is a subsidiary of YMT Sans B.V., an agreement was signed to transfer the company to management for a period of 10 + 5 years.

The operator of legal sports betting is also the only company in the country. TOPAZ, a trademark of Caspiantech CJSC (until March 19, 2019 Azerinteltek CJSC), started its activity in 2011 as the first and only legal operator of sports gambling in Azerbaijan.

The Ministry of Economy reported that changes to the law are being made in order to protect the rights and legitimate interests of people. "There can be no question of any monopoly here."

Member of the Milli Mejlis Committee on Economic Policy, Industry and Entrepreneurship Rufat Guliyev told Turan that gambling is a big trouble, from this point of view, it is the right decision aimed at improving the welfare of citizens. “If the state wanted to make money on bets, casinos would function in the country. Some experts and deputies expressed this opinion, but the state does not agree to this. Because the goal of the state is to minimize the impact of gambling on society. This is very important, and it must be understood and accepted ”.

The MP believes that control over gambling should belong to the state. "This license can be in the form of monitoring. Today hundreds of people are playing on other foreign platforms and are losing all their money, their wealth. That is why changing the law was very important."

The member of the committee noted that the state has banned these games, despite the fact that high taxes may go to the budget from gambling. “And now it turns out that people in Azerbaijan will play on foreign platforms, lose, and money will leave Azerbaijan. It turns out that we are investing in the budgets of other states ”.

According to him, a lot of scammers have appeared in this area. “Those who fraudulently debit money from people's bank cards have already appeared in the online betting space. Therefore, this area should be under the control of the state ”.

According to the Azerlotereya OJSC, the organization works to improve lottery activities in the Republic of Azerbaijan, consistently protect the rights and legal interests of citizens, increase state budget revenues from lotteries and strengthen state control in the field of lottery activities.

The OJSC noted that during 2020 Azerlotereya OJSC received 49 989.2 thousand manats from the sale of lottery tickets and 579.4 thousand manats from other operations, for a total of 50 568.6 thousand manats. “56.59 percent of sales, or 28 288.5 thousand manat, was spent on the prize fund. In addition, taking into account the fact that the main production costs amounted to 11 815.8 thousand manats, and VAT - 3 310.3 thousand manats and property tax - 2.1 thousand manats, the balance sheet profit amounted to 7 151.9 thousand manat ".

Economist Natig Jafarli said that many countries around the world have laws under which the sale of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and gambling are under state control. “The problem in Azerbaijan is simply that when applying such rules, they don’t think about their technical aspects. How will this ban be implemented?

Economist Natig Jafarli said that many countries around the world have laws under which the sale of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and gambling are under state control. "The problem in Azerbaijan is simply that when applying such rules, they do not think about their technical aspects. How will this ban be implemented? If bank cards are prohibited for transactions in Azerbaijani banks, citizens will use cards of other countries, and if access sites will be banned, they will use VPN.”

It is very difficult to prevent this by administrative methods, the expert says. “Therefore, it is necessary to find a reason why people turn specifically to foreign platforms. The reason is that on the betting sites in Azerbaijan, managed from one center, the win rate is lower, and citizens see that with the same funds they have more chances to win, so they apply there."

According to the economist, this sphere is monopolized in Azerbaijan. “This area is solely in the hands of the state, and the main purpose of changing the law is to send people to a local company. Because the turnover of foreign companies in connection with Azerbaijan is tens of millions a year." –0--

 

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