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Legalization of gambling business in Ukraine – 2017

Legalization of gambling business in Ukraine – 2017

In 2015, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a law on gambling that was supposed to be reviewed by Verkhovna Rada by the end of December of the said year. However, the anti-corruption committee declared the draft bill “On Unshadowing Of The Gambling Market” inapplicable to anti-corruption legislation requirements.

Later on, Verkhovna Rada received an analogical draft bill to be considered - a draft bill “On Unshadowing Of The Gambling Market” № 4663 dated 13.05.2016. At the end of October, the Anti-Corruption Committee of Verkhovna Rada defeated the draft bill yet again due to its non-conformity with current anti-corruption norms.

The Ukrainian executives are unanimous in their opinions regarding the following statement: the gambling business in this country requires adequate regulation policies and has to be finally legalized. Eugene Pronin, the head of “Pronin and Partners” legal firm, believes that, taking into account the fact that de facto gambling cannot be banned, it is necessary to come up with a civilized consent regarding its final legalization, a decision that could meet the needs of all the participants of the market.

Yuri Lutsenko, the Chief State Prosecutor of Ukraine, shares the same opinion. The executive points out, that complete ban on gambling is not effective at all and only contributes to the development of illegal businesses. Lutsenko suggests such measures as casino licensing for casinos located, for instance, in certain luxurious places like five star hotel facilities. In such a manner, common citizens, underage and the rest of social groups will not have the access to such establishments.

Alexander Danyliuk, the Minister of Finance of Ukraine, insisted on his willingness to back up and support any version of the draft bill on legalization of the gambling business. Ukrainian business, in its turn, expressed its eagerness to lend support in speeding up these processes.

Alexey Evchenko, the vice president of the UGA (the Ukraine Gaming Association), set forth the following ¨when there is a certain law, everything can be done in a lawful manner, which means public composure and confidence in future.

The UGA is sure that it is possible to reach a consensus in terms of regulation of the gambling business through transparent and clear negotiations within active participation of members of the general public.

Zoriana Toporetskaya, a gambling business expert, commented numerous times on the importance of community involvement into the matters of gambling business regulation.

While the general public still hasn’t shown any vivid interest in the said matter, Ukrainian gambling business gets wholesome support from the side of international experts. This very January Verkhovna Rada organized a round table having involved such experts as the head of WLA (World Lottery Association), Thierri Pujol. Last October the said expert, similarly to Yuri Lutsenko, stated that prohibition measures are not effective and serve as enablers to exponential growth of the shadow economy. Such members of the Parliament as Pavel Kishkar, Nikolay Kneazhitsky and Alexander Danchenko believe, that there have to be introduced some changes to the current legislation, so that regulation of gambling operators will have a solid and transparent base.

A lot of drastic changes are waiting for Ukraine this year in terms of lawful and effective regulation of its gambling market. The UGA is ready to provide all kinds of support to the government by participating in round tables, workshops and providing informative backup that will contribute to the advancement of legalization processes.

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