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Anton Kuchukhidze: In the years ahead, the investment potential of the legal gambling industry will

In the first year of its operation, the legal gambling market has demonstrated the attractiveness of this sector for investment. Moreover, the legalization created an additional economic benefit estimated by experts at more than UAH 30 billion. However, it still has far to go. Subject to the adoption of the tax bill 2713-d, economic benefits and investment can grow tenfold.

Despite turbulent conditions, the legal gambling market has shown strong growth performance in the first year of operation. Criticism of the reform by lobbyists of illegal establishments and lotteries, the failure to adopt the specialized tax bill, the absence of some technical regulations, as well as other issues did not prevent legal operators from generating more than UAH 1.7 billion to the state budget in the form of license fees alone. Moreover, at present, about 20 foreign gambling companies are planning to enter the Ukrainian gambling market upon the adoption of tax legislation.

These combined factors confirm the high economic potential of the industry and the interest of foreign investors in the Ukrainian market. In this context, it seems only logical that legal gambling establishments will become part of the Dunaya Resort Ukraine large-scale investment project scheduled to start in May 2023 in the Odessa region.

Dunaya Resort Ukraine is an integrated infrastructure investment project that will also cover zones for casinos and other types of gambling. As part of the project, it is planned to build 95 hotels and other infrastructure facilities on 500 hectares of land. The initial investment in the project will be about USD 2.5 billion, and over the next 10-15 years, it will receive another USD 10-12 billion. It is expected that the project will create about 25,000 jobs and up to 100,000 jobs in related areas.

In part, these targets will be met by attracting legal gambling operators and locating gambling establishments on the territory of the resort. From the point of view of image of the gambling industry itself and the project commercial success, the presence of gambling is crucial for at least three reasons.

1. Additional tourist inflows. Tourists who travel, including in order to gamble, are attracted to a country with legal gambling establishments. And a developed infrastructure planned under the Dunaya Resort can make the resort a true Mecca for gambling tourism.

2. Additional investment in the region. According to the relevant law, 50% of license payments from land-based gambling halls and casinos are directed to local budgets. Accordingly, the budget of the community, in whose territory the resort will be located, will receive hundreds of millions of hryvnias.

3. Gambling is, first of all, a form of entertainment. Dunaya Resort is intended to be an environmental-friendly resort city where gambling will be presented as one of dozens of forms of entertainment. The fact that such tourist projects include gambling shows that legal gambling is a form of entertainment and a way to spend leisure time#nbsp;rather than to make money.

Gambling being part of such integrated investment infrastructure projects as Dunaya demonstrates that gambling business can provide significant benefits for the entire economic system. This is strong evidence in support of legalization, which proves populists and opponents of the reform wrong.

Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the#nbsp;Ukrainian Gambling Council, exclusively for the “Ukrainian News”


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