A Standing Committee of Economic Affairs for the Republic of Armenia’s National Assembly has endorsed a policy proposal that recommends that gambling restrictions be imposed on the nation’s existing Advertising Law.
Armenia’s government has charged standing committees with undertaking the preliminary review of draft policies that are intended to be debated and voted on by the National Assembly.
Advertising amendments have been proposed by Armenia’s Minister of Finance Armen Hayrapetyan, who seeks to impose stringent rules on where gambling advertising can be displayed to the public.
Hayrapetyan has recommended that Armenia adopt gambling advertising restrictions that mirror those enforced by Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Georgia.
The minister has proposed that gambling advertising/marketing be restricted to four-star and above hotels, border checkpoints and ‘in the front of buildings carrying out the similar business activities’.
Since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia has adopted a fragmented framework governing gambling with laws imposed by separate governing departments.
As such the Ministry of Finance serves as the licensing authority for gambling businesses. Backing advertising reforms, Hayrapetyan stated that Armenia’s government required a “common policy in the field of gambling to help establish equal competition conditions for businesses”.
Though endorsing the minister’s draft policy, the Standing Committee noted a ‘dissatisfaction in the field of advertising media’ – as according to Armenian media agents, between 60-70% of income was generated by online gambling and lottery businesses.
Hayrapetyan draft policy disputed the agents’ figures, stating that the Ministry of Finance recognised gambling advertising to be between 20-25% of media income.