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Summing up the SBC Summit CIS outcomes for Ukraine

SBC Summit CIS, the largest international exhibition in the field of gambling in Eastern Europe and the CIS countries, concluded on 14 October. Based on the panel discussions, networking at the highest level with representatives of international companies, as well as national and foreign regulators, I can definitely see a promising future of gambling in Ukraine.

The two days of the SBC Summit CIS crystallized all the work that is being carried out today by both the State and business to create an efficient and civilized gambling market in Ukraine.

The summit showed keen interest on the part of foreign companies and investors in the Ukrainian market. It was telling that business representatives raised very specific technical and legal issues, thus confirming the seriousness of their intentions to enter the Ukrainian market, as well as careful monitoring of everything that happens here.

Here are the three major topics that became central to the summit:

1. Tax liability. During one of the panel discussions, the first deputy of the Advisory and Expert Council at CRGL, Boris Baum, said that the relevant gambling tax bill would probably be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada before November 10. That clearly shows that in the near future entry into the Ukrainian market by investors will be much easier to plan, and our jurisdiction is expecting an inflow of investment.

2. Regulatory environment. Issuance of licenses, identification and registration of players, terms for the establishment of land-based casinos and slot machine halls, the operation of online platforms and gambling advertising – all these issues were discussed by business representatives directly with KRAIL representatives and other state regulators who participated in the summit.

3. Responsible gambling principles. This issue was addressed in all relevant discussions. Government regulators talked about existing legislation in this area and future initiatives. The business community shared its experience in implementing technical and operational solutions allowing them to fight gambling addiction and prevent gambling addicts from playing. This is a good sign for the Ukrainian market, demonstrating its civilized direction of growth.

What did the Ukrainian Gambling Council manage to achieve during the summit?

As the Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Gambling Council for Communications, the largest specialized association of licensed gambling operators in Ukraine, I have to mention our role as a strategic partner of the summit.

First, I, and the UGC Chairman, Anton Kuchukhidze, moderated four panel discussions within which national and foreign business representatives were able to hear a number of crucial insights into the agenda of the Ukrainian gambling market from government officials and specialized experts.

Second, we held a number of meetings with representatives of foreign companies and realized that we need to strengthen our expertise in advising on entering the Ukrainian gambling market and operating in our jurisdiction. In the near future, we will start working on the corresponding program.

Third, we spoke with national media representatives who will soon be joining the UGC as associate members. This will make us even more effective in conveying information that Ukrainian gambling is a modern, regulated, investment-attractive and socially responsible economy sector, and not a “dark and risky venture”.

Fourth, as part of the summit, 11 legal gambling operators – UGC members signed a memorandum on advertising serving as a set of rules governing the implementation of their advertising and marketing strategies. We will announce details of the memorandum soon.

The summit outcomes fully met the participants’ expectations, and, judging by the mood of the state regulator and foreign investors, the Ukrainian gambling market has a great future!



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