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Kristine Aghalaryan

Finance Minister - We're Hitting Casinos with Bigger Fines

RA Finance Minister Tigran Davtyan informed Hetq that during the current year penalties levied against gambling house and casinos have multiplied eight fold and that the Ministry has increased the number of spot inspections as well. This comes in the wake of a statement made by RA Control Chamber President Ishkhan Zakaryan last year that inspections conducted by his agency had uncovered a number of irregularities in the industry, especially concerning tax documentation. For example, Zakaryan pointed out that while 102 gambling establishments had received licenses, it turned out that according to reports filed with the tax authorities only 40 were operating. The license fee to operate one gambling table is 4 million AMD per month. Minister Davtyan, responding to the alarm regarding the corruption risk involved in the licensing process raised by Zakaryan, told Hetq that as of next week licensing simple applications will be taken on-line. "Applicants will never need to show up at the ministry in person, thus cutting down on the corruption risk," Davtyan said.