Gambling practices are etched in Kyrgyzstan's history. Immediately after independence, there was a steady increase in the number of casinos and betting outlets. This culture ended in 2012, following legislation that declared all forms of gambling in the country illegal. However, the Kyrgyzstan authorities took a different route that saw some forms of gambling allowed to open in designated areas. This was a similar move to that made in Russia a few years before. Unfortunately, Kyrgyzstan laws and procedures were found lacking, and this ultimately led to failed approvals.
There has always been legislation directed towards curbing gambling. Early efforts undoubtedly failed to achieve the objective. For instance, 2012's anti-gambling laws were meant to regulate gambling, but corruption and poor enforcement saw the number of illegal casinos and bookmakers double in a year.
Following these developments, some legislators introduced a bill to legalize gambling again, citing economic reasons, but this only saw the legalization of sports betting. When it comes to online gambling today, residents can only place wagers on foreign-based gambling websites.