What Profit Did Ukraine Get in The First Year of Gambling Legalization?
As of the beginning of 2022, the state has earned UAH 1.7 billion for gambling licenses. This is a small part of the planned UAH 7.4 billion. Why did it happen?
In August 2020, the Law legalizing the gambling business came into force in Ukraine. Its goal was to receive big funds to the budget, which would support medicine, sports and culture. Thus, in 2021, the budget should have been replenished by UAH 7.4 billion from the sale of licenses.
The Gambling Commission began issuing the first licenses in February 2021. The largest amount of income was received from the sale of licenses for organizing gambling in casino gaming halls and on the Internet, as well as from the slot machines. But the budget received about 25% of the planned income.
At the moment, several brands-organizers of gambling are registered in Ukraine. The largest area of slot halls and casinos is occupied by First, Shangri La of Michael Boettcher, Win and FAVBET brands.
Among the cities of Ukraine, Kyiv is the leader in terms of the number of gambling establishments – there are 10 slot halls and 4 casinos in the capital. It is followed by Lviv with 6 slot halls and 1 casino and Kharkiv with 5 slot halls and 1 casino. There are 4 slot halls and 1 casino in Odessa.
Despite a significant shortfall in income from licenses, the Rada is considering an updated bill aimed at reducing the tax burden on the gambling business, experts say and believe that the new bill provides a balance of taxes and license fees. The draft law introduces such concepts as a non-taxable minimum, a reduction in the cost of licenses and a reduction in taxes for players. Such a law will help increase the number of operators in the market, reduce the share of illegal business and further develop tourism.
The legalization of the gambling business, which began in 2021, is actively continuing. Casino and slot halls, operating today under famous brands, are gradually entering the market of Ukrainian towns.
By mid-2021, all issues related to the activities of legal outlets were resolved. Investors from Ukraine or other countries received uniform rules and mechanisms for working in this market, said Darren Keane from Storm International. Players will be able to have a good time playing slot machines and casino games without worrying about possible algorithms of deception, fraud and refusal of the institution to pay rewards.
In 2022, the state will again try to collect UAH 7.6 billion under gambling business licenses – this amount is included in the country’s budget. Also, during 2022, the introduction of the State Online Monitoring System is expected – special software capable of monitoring the gambling market in real time, analysts say.