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Politicians do not want to notice the illegal lottery activities



Lack of proper attention to the illegal gambling business never ceases to amaze. The number of illegal gambling halls and platforms is constantly increasing, but most people seem to ignore this problem. Instead, we can very easily find dozens of publications in the information space with open criticism of the legal gambling market. At the same time, the same lotteries quietly continue to work as an online casino or a bookmaker. Do they have the appropriate licenses for this? The answer is disappointing: no, they don't.


Lately, I have been paying a lot of attention to covering the topic of illegal gambling businesses, because I absolutely do not understand the pattern that has developed in the Ukrainian information space. It consists in mentioning legal gambling only in a negative context and pretending that there is no problem with illegal gambling.


Most of the politicians and "experts" who comment on the legalization of gambling see only the negative side of it. At the same time, all the gains of the legal market, including billions of hryvnias in license payments and taxes to the state budget, multimillion deductions for the needs of the army and aid to the civilian population, are simply not noticed. Just as illegal businesses and the problems they create for players and the state are blatantly overlooked. I described in more detail how and why this happens in one of my recent blogs.


Against the background of the incomprehensible suppression of the problem of illegal businesses, in particular, the issue of the operation of lotteries is avoided. Namely, illegal methods they use to actually provide services in the field of organizing and conducting gambling without obtaining appropriate licenses and paying taxes.


You can find a lot of accusations against legal gambling organizers that they do not pay enough taxes. At the same time, there is almost no publicly available information that lottery operators accept bets as online casinos and bookmakers without having the appropriate licenses for this, and no one mentions taxes from lottery operators. In essence, lottery operators and their lobbyists in high offices are representatives of the shadow market.


In this context, it also seems strange that banks do not block payments of lotteries, while legitimate organizers and their players constantly face blocking of payments and other problems with financial institutions. It turns out that if you work in the legal field and are visible to the relevant regulatory authorities, you have a lot more problems than if you work "underground".


And if you look at the methods of work used by lottery operators, then this is exactly what they strive for. They, like many other illegals, would love to return to the times when gambling was banned and everything was solved with the help of "schemes" and "kickbacks to the right people". However, fortunately, this will not happen, because gambling is now legal in Ukraine. All that remains is to start bringing those who do not want to work in the regulatory field and fulfil the requirements of the law to real responsibility.


Such a situation certainly does not contribute to the development of legal gambling in Ukraine, because it distorts its real gains in the eyes of society and discredits the reform. The focus of public attention should shift. It is necessary to talk more about the problems created by illegal gambling businesses and lottery operators, and make efforts, in particular informational ones, to combat them.

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