Israel ponders on gambling reform

Israel ponders on gambling reform

A report on gambling drafted by the Israeli government has recommended limiting the growth of the industry without reducing its current scope.

Israel.- A committee to evaluate legal gambling in Israel release a report on the issue. The report recommended limiting the growth of the industry without reducing its current scope and stressed the destructive social effects of gambling, although it did not act on expert opinion it had received that reducing legal gambling would not increase illegal gambling in Israel.

In addition, some of the committee’s recommendations, submitted to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, are aimed at increasing state revenues from gambling, primarily some 1.5 billion shekels (€352.27million) in unclaimed revenue over the next two years at the country’s two betting monopolies, Mifal Hapayis and the Sports Betting Council, known as Toto. However, the report also questioned the efficiency of the two monopolies, demanding that they cut costs unrelated to prizes.

The report stated that the combination of the relative size of the Israeli gambling market and its inherent inequality makes it necessary to limit its growth, which has been 10 percent annually over the past five years. The committee proposed limiting annual growth to 2.7 percent.

“Implementing the recommendations is expected to moderate the growth of the legal gambling market, reducing its negative impact on citizens and reducing operating costs so that more money will be available annually to meet public goals,” reads the report.