Anton Kuchukhidze: CRGL has launched a legislative initiative to preserve gambling in the country

Despite Ukraine’s apparent success in the war against russia, hostilities continue to negatively affect the country’s economy. Industries outside necessities or the military-industrial complex suffer the most from these harmful effects. Gambling belongs to such economy sectors. Realizing this, the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL) launched a legislative initiative to support the sector.

Despite the challenging economic situation and unfavourable business conditions, legal gambling operators continue to work, pay license fees, and provide whatever help they can to the State in its war against russia.

In turn, realizing the importance of preserving the gambling legalization reform achievements, the State is also trying to help businesses stay afloat. After all, any saved economy sector in wartime is a source of additional budget revenues for post-war restoration.

For instance, the first but crucial step was recently taken: the Commission, as an executive body, agreed on a draft legislative initiative to keep licensed gambling operators in Ukraine. The draft initiative settles the issue of suspending licenses for the period of martial law and their renewal after the end of the war.

The initiative is indeed crucial since, in fact, it gives the right to legal gambling operators to defer license fees during martial law, subject to the application for a license suspension. It also proposes other steps to support business.

1. The license termination period is not included in the license term. That is, licensees are not required to pay license fees for their license termination period.

2. During martial law and within thirty days after its termination, gambling operators are exempt from liability in the form of license termination due to non-payment of license fees. Legal operators will have another month after the end of martial law to pay license fees and revoke licenses.

3. If during the martial law the CRGL registries stopped operating, then gambling operators have three days after the end of the special legal regime to enter all the necessary data into the registries.

4. When the license is terminated, the gambling operator may not organize and conduct gambling.

This initiative allows legal operators officially suspend their activities and not bear legal and financial risks. Such synergy between business and the State indicates a high level of trust between the sector and the regulator, achieved in just two years of the legal gambling market. Such a regulator’s approach also indicates a deep understanding of business needs and the fact that legal gambling will bring tens of millions of dollars in budget revenue.

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