MSL representatives together with the journalists of local mass media have revealed at least two illegal gambling halls hiding behind the operator’s brand name in Kyiv recently. MSL wants to continue the fight and says there are about 2 thousand of similar illegal gambling establishments all over Ukraine, which illegally use MSL’s brand and license.
“This is a systemic problem that has existed for a long time, all over the country, and concerns not only our company, but all lottery operators. Our company is the operator of state lotteries with more than 50 years of history, and our task is to build a market, pay taxes for the budget, and we expect concrete steps from the state that should regulate this situation.”, Evgeni Vlasenko, vice-president of MSL, said.
According to the top-manager, the regulator – the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine – should act as the initiator and restore the order on the lottery market. Closing and prohibiting illegal gambling is useless, because a closed gambling hall reopens soon in another location. The only way to regulate the market is to provide clear license conditions allowing operating legally.
The damage from illegal “street gambling” is huge. First, the players, ordinary Ukrainians, who actually give their money to scammers, suffer. After all, what they are offered to play in illegal gambling halls is far from fair play.
Secondly, the state budget suffers. According to the investigation of Economic Pravda, the turnover of one gambling hall with 40 gambling terminals in Kiev can be up to 2 million UAH. According to the tax legislation, with a turnover of 1 million UAH., this spots should pay about 250 thousand UAH taxes. If there about 2000 of similar illegal establishments in Ukraine, it turns out that the budget loses 500 million UAH per month, or 6 billion a year. Taking into account that there three lottery license holders in Ukraine (only two operate now), these numbers can be doubled. This money goes into the pocket of illegal businessmen, not the budget.
And, thirdly, illegal gambling business inflicts huge damage to the legal lottery market, simply destroying it. Attracted by deceitful advertising, players often prefer to gamble in illegal casinos, rather than buying a legal lottery.