The first year of full-fledged operation of the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL) is coming to an end, and many “experts” have already managed to demonise CRGL. But any claims must be justified. Facts are the best justification, and statistics are the best facts.
The development of any new economy sector is like building a house. As for the gambling market, today we are only at the stage of laying the foundation. Even people far from construction understand that it takes time and certain conditions to lay and strengthen any foundation.
Given that the legal gambling market is only one year old and the “construction” has just begun, a lot has been done to strengthen its “foundation”, which is largely due to CRGL, the key manager of this process.
As I wrote above, efficiency is measured in numbers. Let us take a look at the official statistics of CRGL’s achievements in the first year of market operation.
1. Revenues. State budget revenues from license payments alone in 2021 amounted to more than UAH 1.2 billion. By the end of 2021, this amount is expected to increase to 1.5 billion. This year, the total proceeds from the gambling legalization in Ukraine amounted to about UAH 30 billion. At the same time, the budget allocations for maintenance of CRGL amounted to UAH 137.5 million.
2. Licenses. During the first year of operation, CRGL issued 2,838 various licenses.
3. Social responsibility. A register of gambling addicts (people with gambling addiction) was developed and implemented and already contains 70 people. Relevant procedures for self-limitation and restriction of players from participating in gambling have been created. The responsible gambling principles were adopted to guide gambling operations in the implementation of social responsibility programs.
4. As part of the fight against illegal gambling operators, CRGL helped identify more than 1,000 illegal websites and hundreds of land-based gambling establishments. Relevant judicial proceedings on the actions of most of them have already been opened, and the Commission continues to work actively towards this end. It is worth recalling that the Commission has no direct authority to combat illegal market players, but does everything to ensure that the law enforcement agencies work on these cases.
5. CRGL is actively developing international cooperation. Over the past two months, Commission representatives, including its Chairman Ivan Rudyi, have participated in several large-scale international conferences and exhibitions. In particular, the CRGL delegations outlined the opportunities of the Ukrainian gambling market for foreign investors and partners at SBC Summit Barcelona and SBC Summit CIS.
These figures and the work accomplished make it easy to assess the CRGL’s real efficiency. Taking into account the positive forecasts for the adoption of Law 2713-д, as well as the resolution of the controversy related to the appointment of CRGL members, I am sure that the positive trends in the Commission’s work will only strengthen, and its effectiveness will increase.
Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, exclusively for the “Ukrainian News”