On Friday, December 8, the Ukrainian Gaming Summit was held in one of Kyiv’s best luxury 5 Star Business Hotels. On this summit discusses new steps towards legalization of gambling in Ukraine.
The event was held under the guidance of the Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association (UGBA) and sponsored by some famous companies and organizations like: FAN SPORT, Pari-Match, Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®), BetConstruct, Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Ukraine) and All-Ukrainian Union of Bookmaker Development. That was probably one of biggest events in the gaming industry lately with the entry ticket around 500EURO.
UGBA’s President Ms. Irina Sergienko opened the summit with the speech about the importance of unshadowing of the gambling industry to promote social and economic development of Ukraine, reports The Ukrainian News Agency (a Kiev-based Ukrainian news agency).
There were several representatives of Ukrainian parliament and state institutions at the summit, which confirms authorities’ interest in the issue. One of the speakers, Artur Palatnyi, member of the Verhovna Rada (Parliament), Head of the Committee on Family Matters, Youth Policy, Sports and Tourism, emphasized the socially significant possible economic effects of legalization of gamibling industry – including the growth of the tourist attractiveness of Ukraine, tax revenue and development of sport.
As a representative of business community, the vice-president of DCN business group Ms. Elena Derevyanko provided an example of Premier Hotel Palace Kharkiv (Luxury 5 star hotel in Kharkiv) and possible benefits of classic casino project. The hotel is built according to UEFA standards and included into the group’s assets portfolio.
It is worth mentioning that another hotel – Premiere Palace Kiev hosted a casino up to 2014, 5 years after the 2009 gambling ban. DCN Group is owned by businessman Yaroslavsky. In September he asked Petro Poroshenko to provide legal regulation to unshadow gambling in Ukraine. The shadow industry has a turnover of 0.5 billion USD, according to some sources.
In Ms. Derevyanko’s opinion, in the case of socially responsible legalization of casinos, this sector of the industry is the most transparent (from the point of view of state regulation), and at the same time it practically does not create negative social effects, on the contrary, it provides additional tax revenues and jobs. Thus, legalization of casinos can become a beginning for legalization of gambling business in general if appropriate legal regulation is provided. Derevyanko also proposed to create Coordination Council guided by UGBA to deal with socially responsible legalization of casinos. This proposal was supported by UGBA.
The main goal of UGBA is promotion of gaming industry in Ukraine according to the best international practices, drafting of forward legislative initiatives in gaming sphere, attracting investments into state’s economy, and developing gaming market on healthy competition basis.
As it is known, gambling has been formally banned in Ukraine since 2009. As a result, the industry continues to operate illegally. This November about 14 gambling locations were uncovered and closed by police. According to experts, the state budget of Ukraine loses at least 5 billion UAH per year due to the ban.