The Ukrainian Gambling Council (UGC) has expressed concern over Bill No. 10101, which aims to improve legislation in the field of organizing and conducting gambling and state lotteries. According to the UGC, the bill will create unfair advantages for lottery organizers and distort competition in the market.
At a press conference, Serhiy Ivanenko, the UGC coordinator on the development of land-based gambling establishments, stated that the bill is designed to facilitate the return of state-owned lottery operators to the land-based and online markets. He highlighted specific provisions in the bill that grant lottery operators the ability to conduct bookmaking activities, manage slot machine halls, and organize online casinos without restrictions on the number of distribution sites.
Ivanenko also pointed out disparities in the licensing fees for different types of activities, noting that the annual license fee for organizing lotteries is significantly lower than the fee for bookmaking activities. Additionally, lottery companies are granted 10-year licenses, while gambling operators are only given 5-year licenses with annual fees.
Furthermore, experts at the press conference raised concerns about the lack of restrictions on advertising, responsible gambling principles, and prevention of gambling addiction in the bill. Anton Kuchukhidze, the head of the UGC, criticized the bill for delaying the adoption of more necessary initiatives for the development of the gambling sector, such as bill No. 2713-D, which aims to streamline taxation in the field of gambling.
Ivanenko emphasized that Ukrainian licenses are already the most expensive in the world, and the failure to pass bill No. 2713-D has resulted in operators paying triple the price for licenses. He called for the consideration of the bill at the second reading and the equalization of working conditions for all market participants.
Overall, the UGC is opposed to Bill No. 10101, citing concerns about unfair advantages for lottery organizers, distorted competition, and the delay of more critical initiatives for the gambling sector. They are urging lawmakers to address these issues and ensure a fair and competitive market for all participants.