Uzbekistan opens consultation for launch of national lottery

CIS gambling developments continue to gather further pace, as Uzbekistan’s government has formed a ‘composition on the selection of a single lottery operator for the Republic of Uzbekistan’.

Last week, the office of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev revealed that it had sanctioned a demand to be led by the Capital Markets Development Agency in developing a decree on the appointment of a national lottery operator and its governing frameworks.

Within its mandate, the agency has gathered key criteria from the Uzbek ministries for trade, foreign investment, treasury, sports, law, health and the Olympic Committee in order to ‘define the main tasks in the field of lottery organisation’.

Each department has submitted its demands and requirements on how Uzbekistan should organise and conduct lotteries, benefitting ‘socially significant projects’, in the areas of healthcare, sports education and culture.

Further input has seen all departments submit best practices on how to regulate ‘risk-based games using modern technologies’.

Within its decree, the Uzbek government outlines its main objective in developing a National Lottery operator that distributes ‘at least 60% of its proceeds from lottery tickets’.

Having gathered ministerial input, the Capital Markets Agency will now move to ‘determine the basic requirements for a single lottery operator as candidate’.

The decree’s formation carries significant political importance with Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Nigmatovich Aripov overseeing its development, led by Atabek Nazirov as Director-General of the Capital Markets Agency.

Since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Uzbekistan has held no legislative frameworks governing any form of gambling.

In December 2019, President Mirziyoyev signed a draft order outlining the potential of Uzbekistan adopting a sports betting framework by 2021, as a means of providing funds for sports programmes.

Observing Uzbek political developments, Ilya Machavariani, Dentons Head of Eastern European Practice Group commented,  “We have been monitoring Uzbekistan legalization for quite some time already. For now, it seems that the Agency is responsive to the industry experts and is seeking best international practices to implement. observing Uzbek developments,

“We need to wait until the Agency releases the decree regarding sports betting, but I would not be exaggerating if I say that steps that are made so far as well as the quality of the document is in line with worldwide trends. At this point the process is going forward In the correct direction and we hope that it stays this way.”

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