Despite the fact that it has been found the world over that the prohibition of online gambling – or any other kind of gambling does not work; the Kyrgyzstan parliament (officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world’s six independent Turkic states located in Central Asia) has recently decided to propose a 100% ban on these activities; effective from 2012. When we speak of prohibition, it is also interesting to note that prohibition of any type at all does not work. It simply leads to more fraud and crime, as well as a thriving black market.
According to the BBC, a blanket ban on online and other gambling in this country has not been opposed by anyone in the Kyrgyzstan Parliament. So, should this proposal be enacted into law, all land casinos as well as online operations, will have to cease to exist. Basically if you are thinking of travelling to this country for the express purpose of any type of gambling activities at all; it will simply be a no-go area. But then, more than likely, this is not the first (sin) ban of its kind, and probably is not for the first time.
One is however left wondering, how many casinos actually operate in this country and will this affect their economy in terms of employment, taxes and so on. Online gambling is different as it is basically gambling without borders in most instances, and Kyrgyzstan is certainly not one of the major ‘offshore’ licensing jurisdictions – although they might benefit financially if they were.
Calvin Ayre weighed in on this situation in a recent post stating,
“As it stands,the Kyrgyz parliament will close all casinos on 1 January 2012 and watch on as the activity continues to go on elsewhere. The some 850,000 internet users could grow and mean that many will begin to gamble online with the help of Internet cafes, the like of which we’ve already seen in Russia over the past decade. It’s not what the government will have wanted and with the economy likely to suffer from this, it might not be a lot longer until the social problems cited earlier are of a very different nature.”
Apparently the Kyrgyzstan Parliament – in particular the conservative Fatherland Party, are very concerned regarding the negative effects that problem gambling can have on families. While they will set aside specific geographic areas for people to partake of gambling activities, these locations have yet to be announced.