Today we will consider the market of gambling entertainment in Georgia. We will form for you a list of the best casinos that are available to players from Georgia, as well as talk about the methodology of choosing a quality casino. We will talk about the history of gambling in Georgia and discuss the legislative status at the moment. We will pay special attention to the different types of bonuses that exist in online casinos, and talk about the popularity of sports and betting on it. Also we will not forget to mention such types of gambling as lotteries and online poker, and of course, we will tell about the most popular land-based casinos in Georgia.
Best Georgia online casinos
Since online casino activities are all above board in Georgia, the country dishes out its own licenses, issued by the tax service.
As a result, the Georgian market is chock-full of both local casinos that have an online version, and well-known foreign sites. But when choosing an online casino, you gotta know certain aspects, which we’ll lay out in the appropriate part of the article. And now, we present you with the list of the best online casinos for players from Georgia:
Gambling started rolling the dice back in the 18th century. But the dicey political and legislative situation often put a stop to its development. In the 1920s, Tbilisi was pretty much the gambling hub of the emerging Soviet state. However, this was short-lived, as in 1928 gambling got slapped with a full ban across the entire Soviet Union. This ban hung around until the late 80s. That’s when the first legal clubs and casinos started popping up, along with a heap of underground joints. By the way, one of the first illegal joints was a casino in the “Interclub” nightclub, located in Batumi.
The first legal casino sprung up in 1990 in the basement of the National Philharmonic Concert Hall. It was called Ori Juja, a joint venture of Swedish and Georgian entrepreneurs. Also, in this year, the first slot machines appeared, installed in the Intourist and Ochamchire hotels. After Georgia gained independence in 1991, a new constitution was drafted and legislation completely revamped. The outcome was the creation of fertile ground for the development of gambling activities in the country, the legalization of almost all types of games of chance, and the formation of licensing rules.
Legality and regulation of gambling
As of now, any legal or natural person can get a license to conduct gambling games in Georgia. All you gotta do is submit the necessary documents and pay the fee.
Worth noting, to set up shop online, say to create an online casino, you gotta have a land-based license. Consequently, online operators who have a Georgian license, often have land-based locations. But most offshore online casinos give this requirement the cold shoulder, operating under foreign licenses instead.
Choosing the best online casinos in Georgia
Now, we’d like to direct your attention to some key points you should suss out before signing up to an online casino. Top of the list are licensing and player reviews. Then, find out what bonuses are up for grabs at the casino, and whether they’ve got handy payment systems. Interaction with customer support and the site’s compatibility with smartphones also matter, especially if you’re planning to play away from your computer.
Legality and Safety
Since gambling activities in Georgia require a license, it’s crucial to figure out where you want to place your bets. You could opt for local online casinos or overseas ones. As mentioned earlier, local online casinos must have a brick-and-mortar license and a corresponding venue. Usually, these organizations focus on their physical casinos, with the online component being a bit of an add-on. Consequently, the quality may leave something to be desired. That’s why we’d recommend you keep an eye out for offshore online casinos operating under licenses such as MGA, Curacao, AGGC, and others.
To get the skinny on a casino and understand how it treats its players, take a gander at player reviews. You can do this on local gambling forums or international websites. Since Georgians are fluent in Russian, it’d be smart to check out major Russian-speaking sites dedicated to online casinos, like casino.ru/vse-otzyvy-onlajn-kazino and affgambler.ru/reviews.
Bonuses & Promotions
Unlike, say, Sweden, there aren’t any restrictions regarding bonus policies for residents of Georgia. This means that any legal-aged player can enjoy the full range of benefits from welcome packages to regular bonus programs. We’ll dive into the different types of bonuses in the relevant section.
Before signing up to an online casino, always consider the deposit methods on offer. Not all players are keen on topping up their accounts using bank cards. In a top-notch casino, e-wallets, special e-commerce services, and even cryptocurrencies should also be available.
Many players prefer getting the scoop from customer support. It’s a pretty savvy and convenient method. The only question is how fast and informative the support service is. The best online casinos offer round-the-clock, quick service in many languages, including Georgian.
Given that Georgia is pretty tech-savvy, many players prefer playing on their smartphones. As a result, we always put online casinos through their paces to check their compatibility with mobile devices. We do this using various devices and operating systems. We’d recommend you to test the functionality of your chosen site before jumping into the game.
Bonuses and promotions for Georgian players
In this section, we’d like to chew the fat about the bonus policies of various online casinos. We’ll give you the lowdown on the different types of bonuses and what it takes to get your hands on them. We’ll do this using specific casinos as examples, so we can show you real deals that are on the table right now.
A good place to start is with welcome bonuses. They’re special packages dished out to every new player. Usually, they include a bonus on top of your deposit or a certain number of free spins. In the classiest casinos, the deposit bonus and free spins go hand in hand, and the bonus is given for several of your first deposits.
Regular Player Bonuses
Once the welcome package has run its course, it’s time for the regular bonus program to take the spotlight. This could include regular reloads and a special cashback system, as well as multi-tier VIP programs and separate bonuses.
Races and Tournaments
Another way to score bonus funds is by participating in races and tournaments. Anyone who fancies it can join in; all you need is to register. Then, you need to accomplish the target action and rack up tournament points. The more points you bag, the higher you’ll rank at the end of the tournament and the sweeter the rewards.
Sports betting in Georgia
Sports is quite the rage in Georgia. A large chunk of the population is into it, both for keeping fit and for the sheer thrill of it. This also leads to a high popularity of sports betting, especially considering that it’s totally legal.
Just like with casinos, to operate a bookmaking business, you need a license issued by the tax service. Once a company gets a license for physical operations, it can automatically do business online. This leads to a bevy of local and foreign bookmakers. Some of the most popular include Parimatch, Vbet, MelBet, bet365, CrystalBet, and many others. We’d also like to highlight a few of the most popular sports:
Football (Soccer) — This is a well-known sport that’s a big hit worldwide. Its high popularity comes down to the easy-to-grasp rules and the fact that it’s easy to play. A lot of Georgians have been kicking the ball around since childhood, which makes them grow up with a deep love for the game.
Rugby — Another popular team game that has deep roots in Georgia, thanks to the national game of Lelo, which shares similar rules with rugby. As a result, the renowned Western discipline received a warm welcome.
Wrestling — A contact sport that comes in two “classic” variations. There’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. The latter is more widespread in Georgia. Georgia also boasts a bunch of its own wrestling styles, one of the most common being Kakhetian.
Basketball — As a former USSR state, Georgia’s basketball scene has gained a prestigious status on the world stage. This is due to the country’s solid basketball development and the presence of a good number of clubs, courts, and training centers.
Chess — You can’t talk about Georgia without mentioning chess. This sport is extremely popular in the country. Special credit goes to Georgian female chess players. Names like Nona Gaprindashvili and Nana Dzagnidze are famous well beyond Georgia’s borders.
Convenient payment systems
It’s worth noting some payment methods that are widely used in Georgia. Traditionally, bank payments take the top spot in popularity. Especially considering that there are no restrictions for bank transactions related to gambling in Georgia. Some other methods are also quite popular. Let’s now talk about the most popular ones.
Using Visa/MasterCard/Maestro is a popular and convenient option. With these, you can fund your online casino account in a matter of minutes. The main downside is the slow withdrawal process and the need to disclose your banking details.
Online Payment Services
In Georgia, specific methods for funding online casino accounts are also pretty popular. These include special services that allow online purchases. The most popular ones to note are iPay and eMoney.
Another convenient and popular option that also allows budget separation. It’s easy enough to create an e-wallet account, after which you can top up your balance directly from your bank card, without worrying about your confidential data leaking. The most popular ones are Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Qiwi, Webmoney, and Yoomoney.
A handy option, but with a major downside. The snag is in the transaction time, which can take anywhere from 2 to 5 days. As a result, most punters avoid this method, despite the simplicity of topping up the account.
Using cryptos is gradually becoming the main trend for funding online casino accounts. This is due to the availability of cryptos, low fees, fast transactions, and high levels of security.
NOTIFY At present, there’s no specific legislation in Georgia that would clearly regulate the crypto market. The government takes a soft stance on cryptos, not banning their purchase or sale.
The only thing to note is the necessity to pay taxes from mining and crypto investments. But this doesn’t concern players who simply use cryptocurrency for topping up their online casino or betting shop account.
Popular gambling providers in Georgia
Given that the gambling market has been developing in Georgia for quite a while, some common trends have emerged. The crowd-pleasers are providers that produce top-notch products. These not only offer a diverse range of themes, but also a wealth of interesting mechanics, as well as superb graphics. We’ve whipped up a small ranking of the 5 most popular providers.
A provider that has been in full swing since the start of the 21st century. During this time, it’s become one of the most prolific developers, cranking out about 600 games and opening numerous offices worldwide.
An unusual developer that’s gone big on vivid graphics, beautiful animations, and intriguing themes. Its slots are packed with unique concepts, which are a hit with Georgian players. It’s a treat not only visually to play them, but also quite engaging, as various events often happen.
A Swedish developer that’s been in the game for ages. Over time, it’s managed to create a series of key products, which have won over players worldwide. Of particular note are entire slot lines, such as Gonzo’s Quest, which even have separate gaming shows built around them.
Another esteemed provider that’s focused on jackpot games. Practically every one of its products has some form of jackpot mechanic, which can result in a big payout at any given moment. Georgian players have fallen for this concept and high winning potential.
A particularly interesting developer that heavily leans into Scandinavian mythology. Excellent graphics, intriguing concepts, and varied mechanics – this sums up the provider in a nutshell.
Land-based casinos in Georgia
As previously mentioned, the land-based casino scene is totally above-board in Georgia. This sector has been on the up and up for about 30 years now, resulting in a fully-fledged industry that really knows how to take care of its customers. The total number of casinos clocks in at around 10 joints. Besides the casinos, slot machine halls are also kosher in Georgia, with more than 70 scattered across the country.
Shangri La – This is one of Georgia’s biggest casinos, right in the heart of the capital, Tbilisi. It’s part of a well-known chain with branches in a bunch of countries. Its gaming arsenal is packed with a plethora of slot machines and special tables for various table/card games like roulette, blackjack, poker, and punto banco. There’s also a VIP club where high rollers can try their luck on both slots and table games. One nifty feature is the progressive jackpots, where you could score anything from 100 to 100,000 Lari. The casino is open to locals and visitors alike. The minimum age for Georgians is 25, while foreigners can come in from 18. Dress code is simple: clean and tidy threads; no sports suits allowed.
Casino Adjara – Another major player in Tbilisi. What sets it apart is its ambience and service, which rival leading international venues. Its gaming selection is wide and includes classic land-based machines as well as various electronic roulettes and lotteries. Like Shangri La, Adjara has a system of progressive jackpots, comprising six different jackpots with prizes ranging from 100 to 25,000 Lari. Besides the slots, Casino Adjara also has a separate poker club and loads of table and card games (roulette, punto banco, blackjack).
The VIP club is worth a special mention. It caters to high rollers with bespoke service and bonus packages, not to mention high-stakes gaming, on both machines and card/table games.
Lotteries and other gambling entertainment in Georgia
Like most other types of gambling, lotteries are completely legal in Georgia. But with one caveat – all lotteries are supervised by the Georgian Lottery Company. According to the law, 45% of all ticket sales go to the prize fund. The rest of the funds are distributed for social needs, including health care, sports and cultural heritage.
The most popular national lottery is Lotto 6/42. You can grab a ticket on the lottery’s official website, or from any point of sale like supermarkets, Georgia Post offices, and major shopping malls. The ticket’s cost is locked down at 2 lari. After you buy the ticket, you gotta pick 6 numbers from 1 to 42. For an extra fee, you can pick up to 15 numbers, which boosts the total number of possible combos to 5005, but this kinda ticket will set you back 10,010.00 ₾. The draws happen every Tuesday and Friday, and the jackpot usually hovers around 1 million lari. To win the jackpot, you gotta guess all 6 numbers + 1 bonus ball. Besides the jackpot, this lottery has other prize categories. To scoop the minimum prize, you just need to guess 3 main numbers and 1 bonus number right.
Another popular type of lottery in Georgia is instant (scratch) and online lotteries. Instant ones come as a physical ticket, and after you buy it, you gotta scratch off the protective coating. The win depends on the combos you get on the ticket, and it can be up to 50,000 lari.
Online lotteries are special games available on the lottery’s official website. They have a whole section dedicated to them. They come in various formats, like classic scratch games and unusual ‘block’ games. The maximum win in such lotteries can be about 150,000 lari.
Speaking of gambling in Georgia, you can’t skip poker. The country has a bunch of poker clubs, some of which are right in brick-and-mortar casinos. There’s plenty of action at different stakes and big tournaments are regularly held. Online poker is also legal in Georgia, and the pretty well-known poker room Adjarabet, created by the bookmaker of the same name, operates actively in the country.
Most players prefer foreign rooms, such as PokerStars, GGpoker, 888poker, and many others.
Reliability and safety of online casinos in Georgia
Just a reminder, online casino activities in Georgia are licensed by local authorities. The body handing out licenses is the Georgia Revenue Service. There’s no separate license for online casinos in the country, it’s an ‘add-on’ to the land-based license. So, Georgian online casinos are ‘online branches’ of land-based casinos. Players won’t have any major issues with them, as any casino values its license and won’t cheat players.
Still, offshore online casinos operating under international licenses, such as MGA and Curacao, are the most popular. And when playing at such casinos, players might naturally ask: is it safe and what should I do if the casino scams me? We answer: yes, playing at licensed casinos is safe. Cases when such casinos cheat players are extremely rare. But even if this happens, you can always reach out to the gambling commission that issued the casino’s license. You can do this on the commission’s official website or via the appropriate email.
Summing up, I would like to note that, like many countries of the post-Soviet space, Georgia has chosen the path of gambling legalization rather than its prohibition. This has led to the fact that almost all types of gambling are legal on the territory of the country. This not only allows locals to spend their leisure time with interest, but also attracts a large number of investments and foreign tourists.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are online casinos legal in Georgia?
Yes, online casinos are legal in Georgia. You can play both at local online casinos, which are online adaptations of real establishments, and at foreign sites.
Can I play poker in Georgia?
You can, there are a lot of land-based poker clubs in the country. Fans of online poker can play in any of the famous poker rooms.
Are there lotteries in Georgia?
A large number of different lotteries are represented in Georgia. Among them are both “land-based” lotteries and special online lotteries.
Is sports betting legal in Georgia?
The sphere of sports betting is also completely legal on the territory of Georgia. Both in the format of land-based betting shops, and on the Internet.
Is buying cryptocurrency allowed in Georgia?
Despite the lack of official status for cryptocurrencies, the state does not hinder the development of the industry. As a result, you can freely buy/sell cryptocurrency, as well as mine it.