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Anton Kuchukhidze: Legal gambling is the trump card of the State

During the war unleashed by russia against Ukraine, legal gambling representatives have clearly demonstrated that they are beneficial in peacetime and during crises. Despite the great challenges faced by their business, legal operators find ways and means to help the State in military and humanitarian spheres. The assistance provided by legal gambling in just six months already amounts to hundreds of millions of hryvnias.

Since the Ukrainian Gambling Council unites more than 80% of the legal gambling market representatives in Ukraine, we clearly see the interaction between the licensed business and the State during the war. It should be noted that legal operators demonstrated a truly patriotic position. Also, they help not only because of their official obligations to pay taxes and license fees but also as part of their volunteer and charity initiatives.

As of September 1, UGC members paid almost UAH 350 million in the form of license fees. It would not surprise anyone before the war. However, in wartime, given the dire situation in the entertainment industry, this is a great result. After all, almost USD 10 million to the state budget just from paying license fees from one of the dozens of economy sectors is significant support, taking into account numerous businesses that today have gone bankrupt or are unable to pay taxes and fees.

In addition to budget payments, legal gambling also shows its conscious position by supporting the State with volunteer and charity projects. According to the most conservative estimates, in six months, UGC members provided the State with more than UAH 200 million in support. It should be noted that this assistance consisted of the direct support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the implementation of humanitarian and social programs for civilians.

The range of volunteer and charity activities conducted by legal operators is extremely broad, from providing our soldiers with equipment and vehicles to providing humanitarian support to internally displaced persons and psychological help to the population. Legal operators also help people who have lost their jobs due to hostilities find new jobs, as well as create opportunities for each player to participate in volunteer projects by playing their favourite games of chance online.

All this, of course, demonstrates a clear pro-Ukrainian and pro-government position of legal gambling operators. If they can keep this up and fulfil their obligations to pay license fees, the state budget will receive more than UAH 1.2 billion by the end of the year.

The fulfilment of budgetary obligations will allow legal operators to help the State and strengthen the position of legal gambling in the discourse about the need to adopt tax draft law 2713-d as soon as possible. It should be done for at least two reasons: provide stability for legal gambling in these challenging times, at least in terms of the tax burden, and create conditions for the industry’s quick post-war recovery.

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


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