What about the clash over the selection of CRGL members?

A powerful state means powerful institutions. Without the latter, there can be no steady development of any country’s sector.

It is true that the legalized gambling market is no exception to the above axiom. This sector is the country’s full-fledged economic sector similar to many other industries, which is why it also requires effective public management and supervision.

Obviously, without CRGL the gambling market will not develop and may stop operating altogether. Much effort was devoted to the establishment of this agency. CRGL is an example of how the political will of the ruling elite helped to unshadow one of the economic sectors.

What is the hitch? Employment contracts of the Commission members end at the end of October. Without these members, the regulator will not have a required quorum, so CRGL will not be able to make any further decisions either to adopt the entire regulatory framework for the market or to issue licenses in the future.

How did it happen? The current situation results from the amendment spam which, in turn, led to a contradiction regarding the appointment of the CRGL management team, contained in clauses 2 and 3 of Article 7. Obviously, clause 3 is unconstitutional, since it authorizes the relevant Verkhovna Rada Committee to submit a list of candidates for the Competition Commission selecting CRGL management. In addition to being unconstitutional, there are signs of abuse of authority, that is, the creation of corruption risks. We have a clear vertical structure based on the division of state power into legislative, executive and judicial power. 

Clause 10 of Article 7 stating that CRGL members may be in an acting capacity does not resolve this conflict, since they were selected under the so-called “covid procedure”, that is, through additional selection, and not according to part 2 of the above Article, and their term of office is therefore one year, and not four years, as specified in the relevant law. That is why clause 10 goes with a procedure that was not applied when appointing CRGL members.

What is the strategic solution? One needs to put legislation in order and remove the conflict, so that the law contains only clause 2 of Article 7, according to which the competitive selection shall be organized exclusively by the Commission on Senior Corps of the Civil Service, without involvement of the Verkhovna Rada Committee. The draft law 5207-1 is already presented to the Parliament, and all that remains is to vote. 

How to speed up this process? On the one hand, the Parliament puts the draft law on removal of this conflict to the vote, and at the same time, the Cabinet of Ministers launches the selection procedure. The government should not worry, since the Constitution is on its side. And let’s remember that billions of hryvnias that may yield government revenue and improve social protection are at stake!

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


Anton Kuchukhidze