Will the commission start issuing gambling licenses by the end of 2020?
The Commission has done almost everything for this. Now we are waiting for the government to agree on licensing terms. In order for the market to really start working this year. This is a very important task for us, so that this year we have time to launch.
How many companies awaiting licenses will be able to obtain them this year?
I cannot give you an answer to this question now, because there is a certain list of necessary documents, a procedure for passing the check. In order to legitimately provide the license.
Will those who get licenses this year pay less? For example, in Kiev, each casino will cost $2.8 million less.
Regarding wages, yes, indeed, every year it is tied to the minimum wage and grows every year. This year, it is more profitable to purchase a license. Next year will also be more profitable than the year after the next. It's true. But all the same, there is a law on the procedure, licensing conditions, there is an order, it must be strictly observed, that's all.
Who will get the first licenses and how?
In elementary order. I do not understand why we should put someone on the first place. Therefore, it is corny in the first place. If you are wondering if we have someone whom we really want to be the first to issue licenses - then no.
Obtaining licenses by individual companies this year may be a reason to accuse the commission of loyalty to a particular business and issuing "discounts" on licenses. Don't you think so?
We do not give discounts to anyone. We do not choose which company to give and which not. We strictly follow the law, in which the tasks are clearly spelled out, and we are implementing them. You know, the task of the civil service is to comply with the law, and not look for how to get around it. Or what can or cannot be done. There is a clear task, it must be fulfilled. We are not talking about any discount right now.
Wouldn't it be more expedient to postpone the issuance of licenses for the next year so that the budget of Ukraine would receive more?
I will explain, on the one hand, if you look at the issue very narrowly, it is quite logical, as you say, to issue it next year. Then, according to the same logic, next year it will be more profitable to give next year, and not give it this one. Such a vicious circle. Because the interest will really go up. Why is it important for us to start this year? First, the most important thing is to signal the market. That it works. Secondly, the most important thing is to send a signal to the international community that we have a working market, we have a regulator, we are carrying out government orders, reforms, everything is really on a tight schedule, we are not delaying, we are fulfilling the task set for the government. And again, this business is still in the shadows. Because everyone thinks that the commission will work there somewhere. And this is already a signal that it is already working, it is already necessary to bring players out of the shadows, to give an opportunity for legal players to enter this market and in the same way fight illegal market players. This is commonplace logic. The person who paid a lot of money for the license will also be interested in the fact that shadow companies do not appear. This is the beginning of a normal healthy procedure, a healthy existence. And the sooner we start this, the sooner we show - we will be able to really plan something for the future. Because again, talking about something now, when there is still nothing, coming up with some plans is nonsense, you have to look after the fact. The sooner we start this fact, the better it will be.
Less than a week is left until the new year. Is this enough time for everyone to get a license?
It seems to me that you want to hear from me some specific answer, but I cannot answer you the way you want it. We have done everything that depends on us. But there are still certain procedures for how the state system works in general. We cannot only say on our own that we are ready. We develop licensing conditions in accordance with the legislation, then we agree on them with others according to the procedure, this is not one day, not two days. These are documents that require detailed attention, detailed analysis, because this is finance, this is not a joke. When we have received all the approvals, we send it to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, if, again, everything is in order there, the license conditions are accepted, and we move on.
The commission can consider the question of issuing licenses for up to 10 days. There are only 7 left until the end of the year. How is it physically possible to start issuing?
Again, we are talking about some kind of future. Up to 10 days is the deadline. We understand that not everyone will be ready yet. Because, again, there is a certain list of requirements, not all hotels have confirmation of their stardom yet. Many different procedures. Even though a person is ready and has money, he wants to start this business - he may not have prepared everything according to the requirements. We understand that not everyone will be ready and will go to receive licenses this year. Again, we consider everyone by law and give an expert answer. Well no. If not, why not? If so, why. Everything according to the procedure. You don't need to invent anything here, you need to look after the fact. When the licensing conditions are approved, we count. Then we look at when the first applications went. Again, we conduct all our activities transparently, all of this can be tracked, thank God. We are a collegial body, we conduct everything transparently and everything will be clean.
This interview was exclusively for Gamingpost.net.