Anti-bet: Campaign Demanding Regulation of Gambling

Organization: RICDOG (Research-Intellectual Club: Dialogue of Generations)

Place: Kutaisi, Georgia

Year: 2013

During the operation of the telephone helpline service aimed at children and teenagers in Kutaisi, which was supported by NESEHNUTÍ, it became clear that one of the frequent reasons why Georgian youngsters get into problems is gambling – in casinos, gaming clubs or betting houses. There is a law limiting the age of gamblers in Georgia, however, the keepers of the businesses do not have to demand a proof of age from their customers as long as their external appearance gives the impression they are old enough. Therefore there is no full responsibility of the business keepers for the age of their gambling customers and for this reason it is not possible to impose any sanctions against the gambling-business keepers.

At first an active team will do a research at several schools in Kutaisi. The data collected will be used at the next stage of the campaign. They will include the numbers of gamblers under age and the amount of their involvement in gambling. The campaign launched will call for changes to the law, so that gambling-business keepers will be fully responsible for underage youngsters in their clubs. In case the business keepers break the law sanctions will be imposed against them: these will be fines mainly, but should they break the law repeatedly they will also lose their trade licence.

Apart from the research conducted at schools a pilot educational programme regarding the risks of gambling will be prepared, inspired by good practice from abroad with the same topic. The first school the programme will be introduced to is going to be the one where the research shows the most serious problems concerning gambling of youngsters under age.

NESEHNUTI supported the campaign demanding regulation of the gambling business not only financially but we also helped the association to plan it strategically. Moreover, the coordinator of the campaign will spend a month in the Czech Republic to learn about the ways Czech civil society initiatives try to regulate the gambling business.

Teenagers entering a gambling club. Gldani suburb, Tbilisi, Georgia.