February 9, 2022 3 min read


Petition in Kazakhstan Calls for Shutting Down of Betting Shops

Kazakhstan has made recent headlines and not in a good way. The country was seized by violent unrest that was quickly quashed by the government with the aid of foreign peacekeepers which led to a brief informational blackout. Now, the news isn’t any better for those running sports betting businesses in the country.

Petition Seeks to Drastically Reduce Availability of Gambling

A new campaign has surfaced on Otinish, a local website that hosts petitions, demanding that the government suspends businesses such as betting shops, online casinos and bingos, e-lotteries, and virtually every form of Internet gambling while relocating the bulk of activities still available in cities to special zones. Online gambling is currently illegal in Kazakhstan, but many foreign casinos translate their offers in Kazakh, Russian, or English and specifically target players from the country.  

The petition argues that the Republic of Kazakhstan would be much better off without any of those. Leftover operations, such as land-based venues would be allowed to operate per the petition, but they would have to move to designated gaming zones, away from cities. Online bets would not be allowed, the petition insists. The petition comes a year after reports that the Kazakhstan government began targeting sports betting operators, but apparently not enough.

The activists behind the petition cited the case of OLIMPKZ Betting Company LLP which they allege was an example of a criminal scheme for illegal gambling under the guise of betting. The petition further dismisses the premise that sports betting shops have been supporting sports enough to justify the perceived societal damage.

Assessing the Impact of Gambling on Society

While casinos are currently only allowed in designated areas, the proliferation of lottery clubs, sports betting shops and slots parlors have compensated for the lack of casino properties located directly in cities.

Those in favor of the petition argue that betting shops and casinos effectively have the same functions as they both organize gambling. Because of gambling, the general population is at risk of developing various mental health issues. One way to fight this is by making sure that the proliferation of online gambling is cut short and that such venues are taken out of highly-populated areas.

The petition offers insight into what they believe is already a growing societal problem. Based on the petition, the average gambler who is in debt in the country amounts to at least $23,000. The people who have backed the petition are already close to 290,000 and more signatures will most likely be accumulated over the coming weeks as the issue is particularly divisive.

There have been reports of people acting out in anger against gambling establishments, with some of the worst cases turning violent. Gambling became legal in Kazakhstan in 2007, around the same time many other governments began introducing regulatory frameworks following the boom in Internet casinos and illegal physical operations.


Luke is a media graduate who is looking to build upon his experiences from his strong love of sports betting and casino games which started during his first year of college. His fresh mindset always brings new content ideas to the team and his editorial skills will continue to grow with the help of the upper management team at GamblingNews.com.

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