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Anton Kuchukhidze: Land-based gambling in Ukraine: Is there any future after the war?


Unfortunately, the war is still raging in Ukraine. For sure, it will end in defeat for russia. However, today no one can say when this will happen. Despite different analysts’ predictions, the level of uncertainty is still high. However, even amid uncertainty, we must now look to the future and work on the post-war reconstruction of the country.

A full-scale war with russia has been going on for more than two months. The Ukrainian army and authorities are successfully fighting back against the aggressor both on military and diplomatic fronts. However, war is war, and it always destroys any State’s economy.

To date, it is estimated that the Ukrainian economy has already lost more than USD 600 billion due to military operations. In addition, GDP is declining due to partial or complete shutdown of enterprises, rising unemployment, disrupted logistics, and the suspension of investment. That is why today we need to think about rebuilding the country when the war is over since this will require enormous resources and time. It is good that the Ukrainian authorities not only understand this but also take concrete steps.

For instance, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky recently announced a program aimed at restoring war-affected regions by the individual European States. Great Britain and Sweden agreed to participate in restoring the Kyiv and Mykolaiv regions, respectively. Several other European countries have also offered to join the program.

Restoration will be carried out thanks to the patronage and integrated support for a particular region through the provision of funding, professional expertise, as well as human and other resources by a particular Western country.

Patronage is, in fact, a business approach to rebuilding the country, where the restoration of each separate region becomes a project for an individual State acting as a project manager. This, of course, makes patronage an effective and fast method of rebuilding the regions affected by war.
What does this mean for the gambling industry? First of all, the infrastructure will be restored quickly, thus the land-based gambling sector will have a real chance of recovery. It is land-based gambling that has suffered the most today. Unlike online gambling companies not too tied to physical locations, they could not relocate their business to other countries and therefore were forced to stop it.

Restoring infrastructure under patronage may become a real chance for land-based gambling operators to revive their business. After all, in civilized countries, in particular the UK, legal gambling is one of the most attractive investment areas. That is why legal gambling may potentially be seen as part of integrated projects to restore war-affected regions.

The level of support from foreign partners, which Ukraine is receiving today, suggests that the post-war recovery will be fast, and the patronage program will be efficient. Thus, the future of land-based gambling in Ukraine may be far more successful than we think. The key to such a future in Ukraine is to win this war as quickly as possible!

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