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Gambling in Kazakhstan: Development, Regulation, and Impact on the Economy

Over the years, gambling in Kazakhstan has undergone several transformations. Kazakhstan has witnessed changes in the gambling industry from early Czarist Russia up to 2007 when new laws were passed that banned gambling in most of the regions. Nevertheless, there are legal means to play casino games or bet online. Many of the minimum deposit casinos that are available in Canada, can also be accessed by gamers from Kazakhstan. These offshore betting websites offer low deposit bonuses, casino games, and much more.

Besides, the public perception of this hobby has gradually changed due to different circumstances. These include changes in legislation, the portrayal of gambling in media, and society in general. These factors have defined the current trends of gambling in Kazakhstan.

Gambling in Kazakhstan, photo 1
Image Source: Pixabay

Historical Development of Gambling in Kazakhstan

The Kazakhstan gambling history began much earlier when the territory of Kazakhstan belonged to Czarist Russia. At this time lotteries were first introduced. The entertainment scene grew after 1991 when Kazakhstan gained independence. New-found freedom and prosperity led to an increase in the development of gambling activities.

Nevertheless, in 2007, new laws were passed that imposed strict limitations, so gambling was allowed only in certain zones. Throughout this period sports betting became more common, and casinos were moved to regions outside Almaty and Astana. It would appear that this was a key period for sports betting as it slowly evolved into one of the most popular hobbies among Kazakhstanis.

Things didn’t change drastically after 2007. There was a suggestion in 2013 that online operators based outside would be limited, but no ruling was made or enforced.

Gambling in Kazakhstan, photo 2
Image Source: Pixabay

Current Gambling Regulations in Kazakhstan

The current legal frameworks of gambling in Kazakhstan remain highly restrictive. The previously mentioned limitations that only allow gambling in specific zones are still present.

What’s more, Kazakhstan’s government has endorsed some tax code changes. As a result, gambling operators will have to report their customers’ gambling to the State Revenue Committee of the Finance Ministry. Clearly this indicates a high level of monitoring and supervision. So, it’s understandable if certain people are put off by these rules and seek out operators with less oversight commitments.

Also, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in Kazakhstan has said they will raise the legal gambling age from 21 to 25. The goal is to fight underage gambling and debt. It shows a focus on making gambling safer for consumers, which is overall a positive change.

Types of Gambling Available

There are different types of entertainment in Kazakhstan such as casinos, sports betting, lotteries, and online betting.


After a 2007 legislative ban, casinos had to relocate. They moved to two lakeside cities, Almaty and Astana, to build Las Vegas-style complexes.

Sports Betting

Today, betting on sports has become one of the most popular types of gambling in the country. This can be attributed to the lack of other forms of gambling. But the betting scene is very safe and there are many licensed brands. This sector has contributed over $5 million in tax revenue.


Lotteries are a common type of gambling in Kazakhstan. They are seen as chance-based fun for the people. It’s another form of luck-based entertainment that remains legal so it’s understandable why it’s in demand.

Online Gambling

Many online gambling sites are accessible in Kazakhstan. Although these are not locally based and are legal in their countries of operation. In other words, it’s still possible to enjoy thrilling games like slots, blackjack, poker, roulette and baccarat. But, many are hesitant since local consumer protection laws cannot be enforced.

Economic Impact of Gambling

Gambling is very important to Kazakhstan’s economy. Sources say the sector’s turnover was about $1.24 billion in 2022. This growth underlines its importance to the nation’s economy. This growth underlines its importance to the nation’s economy. The Vice Minister of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan, Yerzhan Yerkinbaev, said that they established 6 casinos, 10 gambling halls, 21 bookmakers, and 8 sweepstakes in the gambling sector in 2022. Also, the gaming business provided work to nearly 5,000 people in the casino and betting field, and 8,000 people engaged in lotteries. Tax revenues collected from gambling operators were $245 million, showing how much the state benefited from such revenues.

In addition, the lottery turnover for the year 2022 was estimated to be $599.8 million, generating a tax revenue of more than $9 million. These figures demonstrate the size of the gambling and lottery industries and the revenue streams these industries generate for the government.

Social Implications of Gambling

Although gambling is a source of entertainment it has its social implications. Gambling has drawbacks. They involve social problems, like gambling addiction. They also have bad effects on individuals and families. The effects of gambling as a form of entertainment should therefore be properly weighed in terms of social advantages and disadvantages.

Moreover, Kazakhstan does not have a complete ban on gambling ads. The law “On Gambling Business” does not ban them. But, other laws restrict ads for unlicensed organizations.

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