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A comprehensive dialogue between the gambling business and the authorities must be ensured

During the first year of the war, the gambling business demonstrated a high level of adaptability. Although the market plummeted significantly, it held its ground. Representatives of legal businesses promptly pay license fees and fulfil other obligations to the state. They are ready to do so in the future, but the difficult economic situation requires a joint response to the challenges that the gaming business faces due to the war. In order for these measures to be effective, the state and the business require a platform for comprehensive dialogue.

The war had a significant effect on the legal gambling market in Ukraine. While the online segment if the market began to recover faster due to its specifics, the land-based sector still faces difficult challenges, overcoming which lies beyond the capabilities of the organizers. Here are just a few of them.

1. Most representatives of the legal land-based gambling sector have lost a lot of material assets. Their gambling halls were destroyed, damaged or closed. Some gambling establishments ended up in temporarily occupied territories.

2. Land-based legal gambling establishments cannot operate at night due to the curfew. That is, gambling establishments lose several hours of business time every day, which were among the most productive and profitable before the war. Constant power outages also hindered the stable operation of the gambling halls.

3. Due to the war, there is no tourist flow to the country, which is traditionally an important source of income for the land-based gambling business.

4. "Competition" from illegal gambling halls. Despite the war, in addition to continuing its activities, the illegal businesses constantly open new halls, which, of course, work without complying with any requirements of the legislation.

In view of the above, together with the absolute majority of representatives of the legal land-based segment within the Ukrainian Gambling Council, we have prepared a collective appeal to all respected representatives of the government agencies that in one way or another are related to the formation and implementation of the general state gambling policy.

The key thing that we propose in the appeal is the creation of a powerful platform for a broad dialogue in the "Government + Business" format, which would allow to quickly solve the issues related to the operation of the legal land-based gambling sector.

Our vision for preserving and supporting land-based legal gambling is quite simple and is based on practical steps:

- Introduce amendments to Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 314 to increase the timeframe for making license payments to 180 calendar days;

- For the duration of martial law, the license fee for activities aimed at organizing and conducting gambling activities in casino gambling establishments for the city of Kyiv should be set at the amount of 18,000 minimum wages and 9,000 minimum wages for other settlements (except for the City of Kyiv);

- Establish that license payments for slot machines shall be paid for the period of martial law at the base rate (6 minimum wages) regardless of the terms of implementation of the State Online Monitoring System, in particular, do not apply Chapter XI, Part 3 of the sector-specific Law;

- Establish the possibility of payment of license fees by the organizers for every three months of license validity.

Representatives of the land sector of legal gambling remain open to dialogue with the state and are interested in preserving the market, which provides hundreds of millions of hryvnias of revenue to the state budget. We hope that we will be able to discuss our proposals in the near future within the framework of a common platform for dialogue, which will work for the benefit of both business and the state.

Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, specially for Ukrainian News


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