Ukraine seeks to tighten RG measures, dissolve regulator

Ukraine seeks to tighten RG measures, dissolve regulator

Ukraine seeks to tighten RG measures, dissolve regulator
The Ukrainian government has passed in the first reading a bill that is designed to introduce significant changes to the country’s gambling framework. The news comes shortly after a scandal involving gambling broke out in the military, with soldiers discovered to have gambled through ammunition and supplies, as well as sold equipment to cover gambling debts. The bill, originally introduced in May last year, passed a vote on Wednesday backed by 272 members of parliament. This new piece of legislation wants to dissolve KRAIL, the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries for its full name and transfer the remit of regulating the gambling industry onto the Digital Transformation Ministry. Among the proposed measures are further restrictions on online games of chance, as well as a blanket ban on gambling advertising. Specifically, Ukraine wants to strengthen its responsible gambling tools as these measures may have been lagging behind the expansion of the industry, lawmakers fear. This is a big amendment to the existing gambling framework which was established in 2020 after 11 years of being outlawed. The bill will also seek to address other issues in the market, among which are different conditions for licensees, under what conditions their licenses may be cancelled and more. Ukraine has been particularly sensitive about gambling, with President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office taking a personal interest in the activity, and issuing waves of bans intended at gambling sites, that the government believed was tied to Russia, and that inadvertently helped fund the country’s adversary’s war machine. Meanwhile, the gambling industry remains a vital artery of tax revenue for the country, as Ukraine’s coffers received roughly $56m in tax money within the first two months of 2024 alone. The industry is said to have contributed $267m in tax revenue throughout 2023. Last year, a similar set of proposed changes were analyzed by 4H Agency’s Senior Consultant, Dmitry Hotsyn, who took a look at a draft law that was introduced on October 3. Image credit: Unsplash.com

25 APR 2024

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