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New year - old methods: attacks on gambling business continue

Regardless of the efforts made by legal gambling operators to preserve the gambling market and their business, they are always not enough. At least for some government officials and the shadow players whose interests they protect. As a result, we have a very difficult situation when CRGL, as the key regulator of the sector, is making every effort to preserve it, while other state "figures" are trying to discredit the industry that brings billions of dollars in revenue to the state budget.

If the work on the development of the legal gambling market was as systematic on the part of a number of authorized government officials as the campaign to discredit it, we would have long ago had improved tax legislation, introduced the State Online Monitoring System and the State Treasury would have been counting additional billions of hryvnias in revenue. However, unfortunately, we are not seeing this.

While CRGL is trying to do everything possible to ensure that the market continues to exist even in the face of war, and legal operators pay taxes and license fees, other government officials are systematically working to discredit legal gambling. At the same time, illegal operators, in particular lottery operators, are quite successfully staying out of their attention and continue to use gray areas in the legislation to provide gambling services without having licenses and without paying any taxes.

Such scrutiny of those who follow the rules and loyalty to those who break them certainly defies logical explanation. Especially when it comes to the highest level of government agencies, such as the specialized committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The scale and systematic nature of the work carried out by Danylo Hetmantsev, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Taxation and Customs Policy, is truly impressive. He is slowing down the implementation of the specialized tax law 2713-d, proposing changes to it that will actually kill legal gambling, as they will make it completely unprofitable.

Hetmantsev also actively supports initiatives aimed at "digitalizing" the licensing process. Under the auspices of "reducing corruption risks," Hetmantsev's Committee is trying to eliminate CRGL, the only state body that has been fighting to keep the legal market functioning and license holders paying taxes since its inception. It should be noted that the only corruption scandal in the 3 years of the Commission's operation was handled by all law enforcement agencies and no additional questions arose later.

Now, to the underhanded games on the bureaucratic and legislative front, selective attacks on specific gambling organizers have been added. Hetmantsev is actively accusing licensees of misdirection, emphasizing that they are evading taxes. At the same time, he does not say a word about lottery operators who not only do not pay taxes but also organize and conduct gambling without having licenses at all.

It seems surprising that the head of the Tax Policy Committee is in favor of destroying the regulator that fills the budget with taxes and license fees, and also slows down the tax bill designed to increase state budget revenues. But why do some officials dislike the fact that legal gambling businesses pay licenses and taxes so much? Perhaps because they are defending the interests of the shadow business headed by lottery operators who are simply not interested in the existence of a legal market that makes them lose part of their "profits"? Unfortunately, the deeper you analyze the current situation around the legal gambling market, the more this question becomes rhetorical.



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