The Kyrgyzstan government recently passed a law that banned all forms of gambling. The Kyrgyzstan government released the following statement on its embassy website in India. The statement read “Kyrgyzstan has finally banned gambling, betting and bookmakers according to the latest order of President Almazbek Atambayev signed on April 11. The related bill has already been adopted by the Parliament on February 25, 2015. The order will come into force 15 days after its official publication.”

Now all live casinos and online gambling websites will have to shut down operations. Betting in any form will be considered illegal and bookmakers will also be arrested. The new law was passed by the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev when he amended the Law On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts.

Kyrgyzstan which is predominantly an Islamic country has decided to tighten its regulations in order to curb all forms of gambling. The government believes that casino establishments promote anti-social behavior and gambling addictions that result in individuals spending their money recklessly which causes more problems in their family and eventually society.

While the gambling community in Kyrgyzstan disagrees with this assumption, they have no voice in the matter. Even though the government of Kyrgyzstan has banned all forms of gambling, it will be very difficult for the authorities to constantly monitor underground gambling rings and illegal gambling websites. Illegal gambling establishments usually flourish in countries where gambling in banned because these illegal establishments have no competition and will always have a client base that is willing to risk getting caught in order to make quick money.  Most of these illegal gambling establishments operate undercover and players are allowed on an invitation basis only.

Kyrgyzstan is a small country of close to 6 million people located in Central Asia. The country has been through a tough economic struggle and is slowly recovering. Although Kyrgyzstan is considered to be one of the poorest countries in Asia, the country has a strong market segment that is interested in gambling. The capital city of Bishek had two well known casinos namely Casino Bishek and Xanadu Casino at the Hyatt Bishek that offered casino and poker games. Xanadu Casino closed previously and was re-opened as The X.O. Casino, a Storm International VIP club. Both live casinos and online gambling websites are frequented by the locals as well as foreign tourists and the gambling industry did provide the government of Kyrgyzstan with tax revenues.