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Kazakhstan Gambling

Kazakhstani Gambling Laws

By Reno Rollins

Gambling is legal in Kazakhstan, and the country offers casinos, slot machines, sports betting and a national lottery.

On April 1st, 2007, a new law went into effect in Kazakhstan. Called “On Gambling Casinos,” it stipulated that all gambling halls and casinos must be located on either the right bank of Lake Kapchagai or the region known as Shchuchinsk. Gambling establishments located anywhere else are now considered in violation of the law.

This law was enacted to help protect the population from the negative influence of gambling establishments. It is also meant to create a tourist destination, especially aimed at Chinese citizens (Kapchagai is located 400 miles from the border of China).

Prior to its passage, most casinos and gaming halls were located in the cities of Almaty and Astana, but over 14 casinos and 130 slot-machines halls have been forced to close their doors in Astana alone. Kazakhstan once contained over 2,000 gambling halls throughout the country.

People in areas once dominated by gaming halls now play cards or billiards for money. Casinos have been replaced by cafes.

Casinos in Kazakhstan

With the passage of the new law, a number of casinos have moved to the approved areas, while other casinos are being constructed in the regions of Kapchagai and Shchuchinsk. The casino situation in Kazakhstan is still in a transitional state, and, as of this writing, a reliable list of current casinos does not appear to exist.

Lottery in Kazakhstan

The lottery is administered by the National Lottery Board of Kazakhstan, which is based in the city of Almaty. This organization is a member of the European State Lottery and Toto Association.

The first lotteries in Kazakhstan were organized during the days of the Soviet Union. After the fall of the USSR, lottery licenses were granted in Kazakhstan by the Cabinet of the Ministry of the Republic.

The state lottery (www.kazlotto.com) was formed in June of 1998, and many smaller private lotteries have been granted licenses before that time. In fact, there are 15 private and regional lotteries in operation in Kazakhstan.

The Kazakhstan national lottery offers nine kinds of instant lotteries, LOTTO 5/36, LOTTO 6/40, PICK-5, TV Bingo and a passive lottery. Proceeds from these games go to the state treasury to assist with social projects.

The most popular lottery game is TV Bingo, which is part of a television show. The game offers a number of drawings, with one main drawing and several smaller ones.

Kazakhstan Information

Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia and borders China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Russia. The ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world’s largest landlocked country. The population of the country is over 16 million.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan proclaimed its independence. It is now a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The official currency of the nation is the Tenge (KZT). As of this writing, the tenge was not equal to one U.S. dollar.

Kazakhstan is divided into 14 provinces and two municipal districts. They are:

- Almaty Municipal District
- Almaty Province
- Akmola
- Aktobe
- Astana Municipal District
- Atyrau
- West Kazakhstan Province
- Mangystau Province
- South Kazakhstan Province
- Pavlodar
- Karaganda
- Kostanay
- Kyzylorda
- East Kazakhstan Province
- North Kazakhstan Province
- Zhambyl Province

The leading economic sector of Kazakhstan is energy. Much of this comes from the production of natural gas and crude oil. Agriculture and livestock are also important to the economy. Kazakhstan has large deposits of lead, zinc, chromium, copper, coal, iron, gold and uranium.

Ethnic Kazakhs make up 59.2% of the population, while ethnic Russians make up 25.6%. Other groups include: Tatars, Uzbeks, Bashkirs, Uyghurs and Ukrainians. A small Jewish community is also present within the country.

Islam is the largest religion, with Russian Orthodox Christianity being a close second. Other denominations include: Protestant, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Shamanist, Buddhist and Baha’i.

The Kazakh language is spoken by 64.4% of the population, and it is considered the state language. Russian is spoken by almost all citizens, and it has been declared the official language. In recent years, the Parliament has considered using the Latin alphabet to replace Cyrillic.

It should be noted that Kazakhstan is one of the most forward nations in Central Asia, especially when it comes to gambling. The antics of Borat correspond little to the reality of Kazakhstani life, and should be taken as nothing more than comedy for the sake of fun.

The Kazakhstan government began a public relations campaign to counteract negative perceptions caused by the popularity of the Borat film, which many Westerners found humorous in and of itself, as most Westerners knew that Sasha Baron Cohen was being silly with his Borat character.

Sports play a major role in Kazakhstan culture, and Kazakh citizens have met with global success in the following events: boxing, skiing, kickboxing, gymnastics, water polo, cycling, horse riding, martial arts, track and field and wrestling.

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