Anton Kuchukhidze: Ground-based gambling halls are open again in Kyiv

Although active hostilities are far from over, the Ukrainian business is trying to keep working and resume its operations where possible. Gambling is no exception. Today, even land-based gambling halls are gradually resuming their operations.

Land-based gambling sector was the most severely affected by the war. Unfortunately, a large outflow of people from large cities due to hostilities left no choice for land-based gambling but to stop its operations. After all, gambling is, first and foremost, entertainment, and during a war, it is the last thing people think about.

Since the end of February, all legal casinos and gambling halls have been closed. The land-based gambling sector seemed to have little chance of recovery. However, contrary to the opponents of gambling legalization, land-based sector representatives turned out to be more resilient and conscious.

When people began to return to Kyiv, and the number of foreigners gradually began to increase due to the opening of international organizations’ missions and offices in the capital, some land-based gambling operators reopened the doors of their gambling halls. For instance, the slot machine halls of Slots City and 4444 companies, UGC members, already operate.

Although a return to the pre-war volume of services or any significant income is off the table today, ground-based operators are gradually resuming their activities. This trend has at least three positive economic effects on Ukraine.

(1) Preservation of jobs. The reopening of land-based gambling halls means that hundreds of employees will return to work, receive salaries, and the State will receive taxes. Amidst persistent job cuts due to hostilities, this is a crucial and positive factor.
(2) Cumulative economic effect. The reopening of gambling halls means new orders for products and services from other businesses that will stimulate the recovery of business activity.
(3) Image component. Despite the damage and the minimal profitability in challenging economic conditions, land-based gambling is trying to work, clearly showing its readiness to support the national economy in times of crisis.

Given the above, I would like to remind you that one should play only in legal gambling halls! After all, only in legal gambling halls one can be sure of the protection of gambler’s rights and the transfer by operators of the appropriate taxes to the state budget requiring funds from all economy sectors now more than ever.

A functioning economy can provide a strong back to win the war against russia. And the quick adoption of the relevant draft law on gambling taxation 2713-d will allow legal gambling operators to increase their contribution to improving our State’s economy.

Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, exclusively for the Ukrainian News
Anton Kuchukhidze