KAZAKHSTAN – In a striking development from Central Asia, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports has unveiled robust plans to recalibrate access rules to gambling venues. Vice Minister Yerzhan Erkinbayev, making the announcement, confirmed that the age barrier for gambling is set to surge from 21 to a more restrictive 25.
This landmark decision emerges as part of a broader initiative to curb the rising menace of gambling addiction among the youth and to shield citizens from debilitating debt. A proactive stance is evident as the ministry is gearing up to roll out administrative measures ensuring rigorous age monitoring within gambling venues. Amplifying this, they’re also set to mandate police departments to devise and implement comprehensive strategies to tackle venues accommodating underage clientele.
But the reform doesn’t end here. The Ministry is also eyeing measures to limit access to gambling for individuals grappling with outstanding loans or pending financial obligations, thereby fostering a more responsible gaming environment.
What’s notable is that, historically, Kazakhstan has navigated its gambling landscape without a distinct national legislative framework. However, select provinces, namely Almaty and Akmola, have seen the green light to usher in state-owned casinos within sanctioned zones. This recent thrust in revisiting gambling policies aligns with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s fervent calls for bolstering consumer safeguards within the sector.