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Draft Law 9256-d is a total disappointment for the legal gambling market

Lobbyists of illegal gambling and lottery operators, in particular, keep trying to destroy the legal gambling market. Until recently, their success was limited to media attacks on licensed organizers, but today they manage to lobby their interests at the legislative level. A vivid example of this is the emergence of the draft law 9256-d, the adoption of which will create the most difficult conditions for the functioning of legal gambling. The draft law, which is supposedly designed to fight the spread of gambling addiction, actually creates all the conditions for strengthening its main source - lotteries and other illegal organizers.

It is unfortunate that in the third year of a full-scale war, there are still people in high government positions who are not interested in creating favorable conditions for doing business, but in increasing pressure on it and ultimately destroying it. What makes the situation even more absurd and unfortunate is that the chairman of the relevant committee of the Verkhovna Rada, Danylo Hetmantsev, is coming up with such initiatives.

That is, instead of creating a favorable regulatory framework that would allow the gambling business to continue operating and filling the state budget with taxes and license fees, the draft law 9256-d is being put forward, which contains everything to destroy this sector. Moreover, legal gambling is not only a source of revenue for the state budget, but also hundreds of jobs and thousands of contracts with other businesses, including advertising. That is, legal gambling is an important component of the overall business ecosystem, and therefore, its destruction will clearly not contribute to its further development.

However, let's take a look at how the adoption of 9256-d directly threatens the legal gambling market and why it is absolutely unacceptable in terms of preserving the achievements of the gambling legalization reform in Ukraine.

1. Liquidation of the CRGL. The draft law proposes to liquidate the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries, as well as to remove lotteries from its jurisdiction and transfer them to the control of a "special body" to be established in the future. It looks like a blatant attempt to destroy an effective regulator and bring lotteries under the control of a newly created (and probably fully controlled by Hetmantsev) body. Let me remind you that today there are a lot of questions about the activities of lottery operators.

2. Prohibition of gambling advertising for legal organizers and "inviolability" of advertising opportunities for lottery operators who have been working illegally for years and still manage to imitate gambling. I described the consequences of this ban in detail in one of my previous posts.

3. Providing lottery operators with the opportunity to legalize illegal online casinos under the guise of lottery distribution sites. It will be enough for a conditional x-bet to reach an agreement with one of the three private lottery operators to launch an online casino in Ukraine.

9256-d was developed without consulting representatives of the legal gambling sector. As a result, we got a draft law that lobbies the interests of lotteries, which are the most active and aggressive illegal gambling operators in the market today.

The draft law contains quite a few provisions that Mr. Hetmantsev tried to unsuccessfully push through last year in his draft law 10101, which were again designed to create additional difficulties for legal gambling organizers. The persistence of this "statesman" could certainly be envied if it was aimed at developing effective regulatory legislation (which is his direct responsibility as the head of the relevant committee), rather than weakening the legal gambling industry and strengthening illegal operators.




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