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Behind the screen of hype about gambling addiction in the Armed Forces, lottery operators are trying to get rid of CRGL

For the fourth year in a row, Ukraine has been reviving its legal gambling market. The market that was brazenly destroyed fifteen years ago, in 2009. Only due to the initiative of the President, in 2020, the Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine "On State Regulation of Activities on Organization and Conduct of Gambling". Since then, a new era for domestic gambling has begun.

And all this time, the legal market has been under direct and indirect information attacks from those who felt quite comfortable during the legislative ban on gambling. Those who have had a special status for all these years and worked without any obstacles, without government regulation, without burdensome taxes, and without the need to bear social burdens and adhere to the principles of responsible gambling. Those for whom the parliament passed a special law that exempted their activities from most of the rules and regulations that all other business entities are subject to.

You may ask, who are these unicums? The answer is very simple: lottery operators. Almost from the very beginning of the history of gambling business development in Ukraine, lotteries have been singled out by the state as a separate category of economic activity. Activities with special rules and separate rights. It got to the point that during the presidency of Yanukovych, such exclusivity was even enshrined in a separate Law of Ukraine "On State Lotteries in Ukraine", which is still in force! This law enshrined the special status of lotteries as not belonging to the field of gambling. Ukraine is unique in this regard, and lotteries have no analogues of this status in any civilized country.

Lottery operators liked this status so much that after the regulation of the legal gambling market and the emergence of the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries, which should (by definition) be a national regulator for lottery organizers, it is constantly tested for "information strength".

However, CRGL is committed to a fair gambling regulation policy, where there should be no imitation of gambling activities such as bookmaking, slot machines or online casinos by lottery operators.

Given the fact that for several years in a row, CRGL has been submitting its proposals that actually do not allow lottery manipulations to form the basis of licensing conditions, it was decided to strike at it with the use of "heavy artillery," namely, the head of the parliamentary committee, Danylo Hetmantsev, who skillfully used the public hype on the spread of gambling addiction among the military to "push" the liquidation of CRGL through amendments to the current legislation.

For his part, Ivan Rudyi, chairman of CRGL, who is himself a veteran of the war with russia, said: "For some reason, the Tax Committee of the Verkhovna Rada immediately voted for the draft law "On the liquidation of CRGL" under the guise of "saving gambling addicts in the Armed Forces". I do not see any logic in this decision. There was no request to liquidate the body."

If there is no logic in something, then private interest comes into play. In particular, the interest of lottery operators and their lobbyists to eliminate state supervision over the organization of the lottery business. As a result, we have an example of discrediting the only implemented and monetized reform in the country that fills the state budget with tens of billions of hryvnias.




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