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The struggle of CRGL to introduce DSOM

The introduction of the State Online Monitoring System (DSOM) is one of the key aspects of completing the gambling legalization reform in Ukraine. The adoption of draft law 2713-d is key to establishing clear and transparent rules for all areas of the industry and attracting Western investors to Ukraine. That is why CRGL is working hard to ensure that the issue of introducing DSOM is a priority of the Verkhovna Rada.

CRGL got the Parliament to become serious about DSOM again. From a political point of view, it means significant efforts since, in times of war, the Verkhovna Rada has a lot on its plate. There is a reason for all this since DSOM is a crucial condition for the legal gambling market to develop and survive.

The thing is that the updated draft law 2713-d contains the following provision: if the DSOM is not introduced before April 2023, there will be an additional 10% tax for the gambling industry. That is, in addition to all taxes paid by any business, there is another 10% tax. Also, we should not forget that among civilized European countries (we do not take into account inadequate aggressor neighbours), Ukraine has introduced the highest license fees for gambling.

What does this mean for the market? In simple words, it goes like this: in an unfavourable economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and then drastically worsened by the war, the industry that has existed for only two years faces excessive regulatory and fiscal pressure. And no matter how financially stable and organizationally adaptable the licensees are, sooner or later, it will change, and the legal gambling market will be in danger.

Seeing this, CRGL makes every effort to ensure the introduction of DSOM. We should understand that DSOM is, first of all, a technical solution. And if CRGL had not had a working version of a DSOM program, it would not have played such a risky game and would not have actively promoted this issue. In his recent interview, Ivan Rudyi, the Chairman of CRGL, confirmed the existence of a technical solution for DSOM. There is a solution, but there are also some technical issues that need to be solved, and the system will be ready for testing in the “State – gambling operator” format.

Similarly to DSOM, there is a delay in the adoption of draft law 2713-d. A week and a half ago, the Verkhovna Rada was supposed to vote for this draft law, but some “dark forces” prevented this. By dark forces, I mean the illegal market lobbyists and curators, as well as owners of illegal gambling establishments and online platforms, spreading myths about incredible benefits for the legal gambling business. When in truth, we are talking about streamlining legislation, which will civilize the market and systematize tax revenues, including the GGR tax.

Not to offset the achievements of the gambling reform and destroy the industry providing billions to the state budget every year, we should introduce DSOM as soon as possible and pass the draft law 2713-d. In the worst-case scenario, legal gambling, which is already going through difficult times, will face an excessive burden. Should we destroy a multibillion-dollar industry generating thousands of jobs and paying tons of money to the state budget because of the intrigues of “shadow players”? It is a rhetorical question.

Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, exclusively for the Ukrainian News


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