Kazakh officials will be prohibited from gambling

The document was presented by deputy Elnur Beisenbaev.

“Today we are adopting a very important bill that will directly affect our society… The bill provides for defining a list of persons who will be limited in participation in gambling and betting. The maximum period of self-ban on gambling has been increased from one year to 10 years. As it turns out, a year is very little. Many people continue to play actively after the restriction expires. The main thing is that it will be impossible to end the self-ban early,” he said.

The document introduces a number of rules, including restrictions on persons included in the Unified Register of Debtors. This is about 3.5 million people.

“We believe that they are potential clients of bookmakers and casinos. Civil servants, military personnel, employees of special government agencies, and heads of budgetary organizations will not be able to place bets. This is about 280 thousand people. There will be no warning for them. I made a bet – immediate dismissal,” the deputy added.

The draft law introduces a ban on the sale of energy drinks to persons under 21 years of age, establishes a procedure for medical rehabilitation of persons addicted to gambling, and introduces advisory monitoring of gambling addicts without dynamic registration, that is, while maintaining medical secrets.

“There is a ban on telecom operators sending messages containing gambling advertising. Advertising of bookmakers and casinos is limited as much as possible. Here I would like to warn bloggers and social media influencers that it is now illegal to advertise and promote bookmakers. Fines of 200 thousand tenge are provided. A complete ban has been established on the Internet resources of foreign bookmakers, unlicensed betting shops and online casinos. Organizers of online casinos now face criminal liability with imprisonment for up to 2 years,” summed up Elnur Beisenbaev.

The rule proposed by deputies to raise the age limit for gambling to 25 years, and for traditional lotteries to 21 years, is not supported by the government.

It is interesting that earlier the Kazakh people proposed to ban officials from gambling. The petition appeared on May 29, 2024 on epetition.kz. The author is the executive director of the RPO “Adildik Zholy” Didar Smagulov. The petition is addressed to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

“Corruption, theft, embezzlement, forgery – all these are the consequences of a loyal attitude to gambling among officials. It is necessary to introduce a complete ban on gambling for civil servants, military and other security officials. Countries such as the Philippines and Mongolia already have similar bans in place,” the petition says.

Didar Smagulov explained that he learned about plans to lift the ban on gambling for government employees and decided to create a petition. However, as time shows, this is not the case. He then gave examples:

  • Police officers of the Almaty region lost almost a billion tenge in a casino.
  • An official from Zhambyl region lost about 500 million tenge.
  • An accountant from Aktobe lost 413 million tenge of the school budget on bets.

“This list can be continued endlessly. Friends, this is our first petition against corrupt officials. Let them come up with new schemes, but we should not give them the opportunity to live in peace,” concluded Didar Smagulov.

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