On February 24, Kyiv hosted the Ukrainian Gaming Week 2021 conference, dedicated to the legalization of the gambling market in Ukraine. The event, organized by the international company Smile-Expo, brought together Ukrainian and foreign experts in the Premier Palace Hotel. They discussed the launch of the gambling market and revealed the nuances of the new gambling law. Read more about the event and important gambling news in Ukraine in the following review.
The first to present a speech was Boris Baum, the First Deputy Head of the Advisory and Expert Council of the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries.
According to him, one of the main problems that arose already at the start of licensing was the poor-quality filling of documents by operators willing to obtain a license.
“I really hope that the level of legal support for operators who are applying for licenses will improve,” Boris Baum said during the conference.
He also added that many points in the relevant law need to be changed. It will be possible to do this after the created state structures help to receive feedback from operators and representatives of the gambling market on the results of work.
In turn, Tetiana Klymenko, Head of the Legal Department of Law & Trust International, emphasized the importance of legislative regulation of advertising of gambling companies and services during the launch of the gambling business in Ukraine.
The expert mentioned the example of the UK, which has 15 years of experience in regulating gambling. Here, the regulator provides support to operators while guaranteeing protection for gamblers, especially minors and gambling addicts.
In Spain, however, gambling advertising is overregulated. In particular, in order to protect minors and addicted gamblers, the country banned athletes from appearing in advertising for gambling and told operators to advertise their services only on their own websites.
With regard to Ukraine, Tetiana Klymenko noted that for illegal advertising, violators will have to pay 300 minimum wages, which is about 2 million UAH. The expert believes that it is necessary to establish an advertising control system as soon as possible.
An important topic for discussion was the issue of taxation. The experts agreed that many things are incomplete. In particular, according to Ihor Makievsky, the Deputy Chairman of the All-Ukrainian Association of Employers in the Culture, Leisure, and Entertainment Industry, the problem consists in the fact that the gambling market is regulated by the 2016 Tax Code. It does not take into account many nuances in the work of operators, which will have to be resolved after the launch of the market.
At the same time, Boris Baum hopes that the 10% GGR rate will be applied to everyone, the triple license fee will be canceled, there will be no three-year exemption, and a number of other changes will be adopted.
Besides, the experts focused on launching the online gambling market. According to Ilya Machavariani, Senior Partner at 4H.Agency, the online sector has changed with the legalization of the gambling business. And although there are many problems at the start, the main thing is that the market has been launched.
“I would like to believe that this movement will continue. For the market to move forward, there must be a symbiosis between the work of the state and business,” he added.
For his part, Artem Kuzmenko, partner of the Eterna Law firm, stressed that the online sector has changed since today there is a regulator in the country that controls this process. And although there are many nuances, work is underway – two licenses have already been actually issued, and two more are being obtained in the process.
Artem Kuzmenko added that it is best to enter the Ukrainian market now, as in this case the cost of the license will be fixed for a period of five years.
Among other things, the experts discussed the importance of big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other technologies used in the field of iGaming.
"We are on the threshold of great change. Now there is a revolution, technologies will radically change the betting and gambling industries in particular and the world in general," Alex Kornilov, who is CEO and founder of BETEGY, said.
As an example, the expert mentioned the development of artificial intelligence, which shows excellent results in addressing issues related to sports betting.
Summing up the results of Ukrainian Gaming Week 2021, it should be concluded that today the new law of Ukraine on gambling has many nuances that require refinement. However, the fact of the adoption of this law was generally assessed positively by experts who are convinced that it needs improvement at the same time.