The dice have been thrown – but who will win?
12 December 2015; Kyiv, Ukraine. The draft gaming law in Ukraine has been rubber stamped by the Cabinet of Ministers and will soon, before the year-end, be presented in the RADA for approval.
Despite our efforts, it does not meet international standards and is flawed in key areas – but at least it brings gambling back and out of the shadows. The next stage though is to make sure that those flaws are recognized and changes made to ensure that the gambling industry develops properly, transparently and for the benefit of the three key stakeholders – Consumer, Operator and Government.
If there was a wish list relating to the changes needed in 2016, they would be:
1) More dialogue with the industry itself. Gambling regulation has been done before in countless countries and the industry can help the Government if it is prepared to listen and co-operate with trust.
2) A roadmap for future laws based on economic drivers – tourism and jobs – would help the next law (Phase II) to be an “informed decision” with measurable outcomes.
3) Licensing is too high and taxes are punitive in some cases. A balance is needed so the market is opened up and tax revenue increases as opposed to being driven further underground.
4) Government has a right to control the industry but in the case of gambling it is complex, technical and changes rapidly. Managing the process internally means it is open to corruption. The Government should consider the international model of an independent gaming regulator.
5) Relying on the industry to self-regulate and introduce measures to help problem gamblers is naive. Some of the license fees should be ear-marked for education and treatment of the problem.
In 2016 the Ukraine Gaming Association will seek to bring the evolving industry in Ukraine together – across all of the gambling markets – to ensure representation is both fair and robust.
Ukraine Gaming Association
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