Market Consolidation and Tax Law: Expert Roundtable on Gambling

The first land-based casinos in Ukraine are open. Four gambling establishments have started operating in Lviv, Odesa and Kyiv. The traditional round table of experts began with this news. But not everything is perfect. Last week, the Verkhovna Rada again removed from the agenda bill 2713-D, which equalizes GGR tax rates for all market participants to 10%.

“We call on all the operators, all the deputies, all the friends of the deputies - please try to explain that changes in taxes need to be adopted. Let anybody accept it, let anybody do it to be declared, a lot depends on it. I know almost 100% that next week the law will be brought into the hall again, and there will be a vote for sure. What the result will be - we do not know. But let there be at least some signal for the market. And let's see specifically who did not vote for this law. And we will somehow work separately with the deputies,” - says Boris Baum, First Deputy of the Advisory and Expert Council at KRAIL.

When asked why the people's deputies do not listen to the market, Boris Baum replies that there are not enough arguments yet.

“Unfortunately, my voice and round tables are not enough to explain something to people. To explain the fact that we are not reducing the cost of the license by three times, but we are canceling the triple license and introducing a tax, there is a big difference. But it's hard for me to talk about it all the time,” - says Boris Baum.

Therefore, he encourages market representatives to unite. For example, in the newly created All-Ukrainian Gambling Council.

“UGC does not claim marketing or PR budgets for individual companies. The UGC claims the role of ensuring that politicians do not give political edits to a high-tech and adequate law. This is our main task. We are not going to hover a separate company,” - says Anton Kuchukhidze, head of the Ukrainian Gambling Council.

Boris Baum declares that other issues can be solved with the help of associations. For example, with illegal advertising.

“Advertising is prohibited. But the question is not in the prohibition, or not in the prohibition. The question is different, the question is in the uniform rules of the game. And when they say: “Why is this possible, but we cannot?”, Then this is a normal question. Let us in the Association, when we are all sitting together, define the rules of the game. And we will all agree on what can and cannot be done. They say: "How to control this?" This can be controlled simply. Let advertisers create their association. And whoever in this association will adhere to the rules - you can work with those,” - says Boris Baum.

Another important task is to work on the correct perception of gambling by society, experts say. This is what will help the market develop more efficiently.

“That baggage of negative perception of gambling is the task that the market needs to deal with. And, of course, this can only be done by joint efforts,” - says Viktoria Zakrevska, head of the Gambling Association of Ukraine.

“Ukraine can become the center of gambling in Central and Eastern Europe. Because our northern neighbors are in great trouble. But nothing prohibits Minskers from coming to Kyiv and playing with us. We have the potential for this,” - adds Mykola Melnyk, head of the Ukrainian Gambling & Betting Association.

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Experts and representatives of the Ukrainian gambling business gathered at a traditional round table. Why did you create a new gambling association, and when will the people's deputies consider the draft law on amendments to the tax code? Watch the report from
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