GC-UA supports bill 2713-d, which was voted for by the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada in the first reading. In what form can the bill be submitted to the second reading?
According to our information, no significant changes are expected in the current version of the bill. In addition, the reason for optimism regarding the timing of the committee's passage and preparation of the draft law for the second reading is the small number of amendments, which indicates the absence of so-called “correction spam”. During the passage of the working groups and the committee, a difficult discussion can be expected regarding the most market-sensitive provisions of the draft law. First, we are talking about the GGR rate and taxation of winnings. In this aspect, it is extremely important to understand that the GGR rate of 10% is not taken from the ceiling, but is a kind of consensus between market representatives and the state, which was reached during long discussions during the preparation of the bill for the first reading. Fees in Ukraine are among the highest in the world and represent the same tax for gambling operators, the implementation of the 10% GGR rate in conjunction with royalties is the maximum permissible tax burden rate at which market operators and foreign companies are ready to operate on the territory of Ukraine, as well as invest large sums in the development of new projects in Ukraine in the field of gambling. That is why a change in the GGR rate towards an increase will cause significant damage to the prospects for the development and scaling of the market, attracting foreign capital to the industry and filling the budget.
What is, in your opinion, the likelihood that the 2713-d will be adopted in the second reading unchanged? Or do you still need some edits?
In general, we assess the likelihood of the adoption of the draft law in the current version as quite high, given the fact that the understanding of the need to adopt a balanced system of taxation of the industry among government officials has significantly increased. Is it necessary and possible to improve the draft law in the current version? Of course, one of the provisions of the bill, which is quite worrisome for both experts and market representatives, is the establishment of taxation of winnings from 8 minimum wages, which as of now is 48 thousand hryvnias. There are indeed several reasons for concern. Thus, taxation of winnings can significantly reduce the investment and tourist attractiveness of our country, as well as give a significant head start to the development of the illegal segment, where such a tax, of course, will not be paid on winnings and, as a result, will become a preferred place for several players. Realizing the potential negative consequences for the industry, GC-UA organizes public discussions aimed at communicating the importance of increasing the threshold for taxable benefits.
Even with the abandonment of triple licenses, their cost remains one of the highest in the world. Do you think this is an argument for MPs to equalize GGR rates to 10%?
It is difficult to assess the sufficiency of certain arguments for the deputies when making decisions. However, the adoption of the bill in the first reading showed that there is a general understanding of the need to adopt changes in the taxation of the gambling industry and bring it in line with the principle of “high cost of licenses - low taxes”. Separately, it is worth noting the importance of conducting an information campaign to clarify the need for the adoption of bill 2713-D. Explain the expected positive effect of it both for the industry and for budgetary revenues among MPs and the public. In this context, the organization of public discussions, round tables with the participation of all parties to the process to convey and clarify the need for the adoption of the bill as a whole and the improvement of its provisions is necessary.
The interview especially for Gamingpost.net
The gambling portal gamingpost.net monitors the process of legalization of gambling in Ukraine. Read the latest news: Gambling advertising, illegal immigrants and budget revenues: a round table