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Ignoring the illegal activities of lottery operators should become history

The latest history of the development of the legal gambling business in Ukraine is almost three years old. This is a short term in order to fully reveal the economic potential of the industry and solve all organizational and fiscal issues. First of all, because both the state and legal gambling organizers have to simultaneously form and develop a new industry, as well as overcome the adverse consequences of more than eleven years of gambling existing exclusively in the illegal segment.

Frankly negative attitude of some politicians towards the legal gambling market is one of the most dangerous consequences of the past. Obviously, such a reaction is a kind of transfer of old problems and troubles related to the functioning of the gambling black market onto the representatives of the white market. However, such an attitude towards the legal business that conscientiously pays taxes and actively participates in strengthening the country's defence capabilities is quite dangerous.

As head of the Ukrainian Gambling Council Anton Kuchukhidze rightly noted, despite billions of deductions to the state budget, more than UAH 1 billion in donations to special accounts for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and internally displaced persons, the preservation of jobs in wartime conditions, and other efforts of licensed gambling organizers, they continue to be baselessly criticized, and illegal gambling businesses are overlooked.

Ignoring the problem of illegal businesses by the authorities and "not noticing" the continued work of business entities outside the legal field will provoke the criminalization of this market. In addition to that, illegal gambling establishments do not pay taxes, which leads to losses of the state budget.

Activity of lotteries in Ukraine is a vivid example of this attitude is. They survived during the banning on the gambling business, and operate without licenses even today, both in the segment of the lottery business and as online casinos and providers of bookmaking services.

Such illegal commercial activity of lottery operators remains unnoticed by politicians and law enforcement agencies, and banking institutions do not see signs of risk in operations for their benefit and do not block the accounts of such illegal gambling establishments.

And again, in order to understand the origins of such an attitude of the authorities, it is worth recalling the history of the banning of gambling in Ukraine, when lotteries were officially allowed and other types of gambling were disguised under their umbrella. First, the majority of Ukrainians are already used to the operation of lotteries and do not see anything criminal in it, so politicians do not pay attention to it. Second, it is likely that certain corrupt links appeared between illegal businesses and some government officials at that time, which does not allow effective fighting against this phenomenon.

However, the times of bans and illegal activity are coming to an end. The state chose the path of creating an effective system for regulating the legal gambling market and strengthening control and taking strict measures against illegal businesses. The legal Ukrainian gambling market is on its way to becoming part of the civilized world market of the entertainment industry, and underground business has no place there. Therefore, illegal activities of lotteries should become history.


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