Uzbekistan Begins Consultation On National Lottery Launch

CIS gambling developments continue to accelerate as Uzbekistan ‘s government has formulated a ‘composition on the selection of a single lottery operator for the Republic of Uzbekistan’.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s office last week announced it had approved a demand to be led by the Capital Markets Development Agency in the creation of a decree on the selection of a national lottery operator and its governing frameworks.

Within its mandate, the agency has gathered key requirements from Uzbek Ministries of Trade, Foreign Investment, Treasury, Sports, Policy, Health and the Olympic Committee to ‘define the main tasks in the field of lottery organisation’.

The department has submitted its demands and specifications on how Uzbekistan should organise and execute lotteries in the areas of healthcare, sports education and culture, benefiting from ‘socially significant projects.’

In addition, all departments have submitted best practises on how to regulate ‘risk-based games using modern technologies.’

Within its law, the Uzbek government outlines its key aim in establishing a National Lottery operator distributing ‘at least 60 percent of its proceeds from lottery tickets.’

The Capital Markets Agency will now push to ‘determine the basic requirements for a single lottery operator as candidate’.

The formulation of the decree carries significant political significance with Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Nigmatovich Aripov overseeing its creation, led by Atabek Nazirov as Capital Markets Agency Director-General.

Uzbekistan has not kept any regulatory structures regulating any form of gambling since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

In December 2019, President Mirziyoyev signed a draft plan detailing Uzbekistan’s ability to implement a system for sports betting by 2021, as a way of providing support for sports programmes.

Observing Uzbek political trends, Dentons Head of Eastern European Practice Group Ilya Machavariani commented: “We have been monitoring Uzbekistan legalisation 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.”