Gambling halls masked as lottery centers are everywhere in Ukraine. But in 2017, only 200 million UAH of taxes were paid by gambling operators and lottery license holders. This sum of money is compared to just 5 day budget of the National Police, which, by the way, does not interfere much with the gambling business, report journalists of Ukrainian news channel “24”.
Part of Ukrainian gambling business operators work illegally, therefore, they do not pay taxes. Some work under the cover of an electronic lottery, because lotteries were not forbidden by the parliament. Lottery programs are often installed in gambling halls alongside with classic casino video games which are prohibited in Ukraine. Taxes are paid only for legal software connected connected to the treasury. However, according to reporters operators prefer to offer gamblers illegal software to avoid taxes.
Practically all slot machine halls operate using the license of «Ukrainian National Lottery». The company became the leader of Ukrainian market just in few years, after its main competitors MSL and Patriot were listed among the sanction companies with Russian roots. Practically all legal gambling halls in Ukraine operate under UNL’s license. Despite the fact these hall have different names they all include logo of UNL to their branding.
According to journalists of Ukrainian news channel “24”, UNL is associated with the members of political party of Ukrainian president. The first evidence of this appeared in 2015, when Alexander Tretyakov, a member of the parliament, was often seen in UNL’s office. For more than a year, the largest lottery operator pays money to ATEC95 for office rent and related services. This company pays salary to Tretyakov’s wife, and he was the co-owner of this company.
“Ukrainian national lottery” with the support of the Ministry of Finance wanted to become the sole license holder. In 2017, the Ministry of Finance proposed to accept new licensing agreements for lottery operators and raise the cost to UAH 350 million. Out of three current license holders, only UNL met all the requirements of the new license conditions proposed by the Ministry. Thus, the company was heavily criticized by the mass media for trying to get the gambling monopoly in Ukraine.