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Presentation of the Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association

On the 16th of November 2016 in Kyiv, at “Ukrainski Novyny” press centre, a press conference dedicated to the presentation of the Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association (the UGIA) took place. Well known experts, who had many times participated in discussions of legal regulation of gambling business and drafting of appropriate legal base, were present. Members of the Association had explained the purpose of creation of non-governmental organisation and what should be done for legalisation of gambling industry in Ukraine.

CEO of the Ukrainian  Gaming Industry Association, Irina Sergienko, had explained that the Association is an independent non-governmental organisation, not funded by any company and does not and will not lobby anyone interests.  

 “We are certain that the Ukrainian gaming market, including gambling, should be regulated according to world’s best practice and the national interest should prevail.  The situation when the market of gaming and gambling services is developing out of control and spontaneously, outside the law, should be stopped.  If to resolve the issue properly, everyone shall benefit: the state, the society, business. Everyone.  And I’m talking not only about significant tax collection and creation of workplaces, end of corruption within industry and termination of cash outflows from Ukraine. I’m talking about clear and transparent rules that should be established by the state in order to protect the society. Our values are the basis for our activity. We are opened for co-operation and we appreciate the support of those who share our goals and values” – said Irina.    

Vice-President of the UGIA Oleksii Yevchenko had explained that gaming industry is a broad concept that includes besides gambling a fantasy sport, a e-Sports, and Free-to play gaming platforms not subject to taxation but freely available for children and teen agers. That’s why the Association is aimed at developing rules for socially responsible game for all Ukrainian gambling companies.   

 “According to calculations of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine of previous years, tax effect from legalisation of gambling business may amount from 2 to 5 UAH billion a year, but no one can give an exact figures, since the market is not regulated. I think that the figures are twice of that. If to regulate a gaming market appropriately it shall give an impulse of development for related industries such as tourism, hotel business, IT, real estate, consulting as well as horse racing and  horse breeding,”-said Oleksii.

The member of the Board and the UGIA Expert Board Vasyl Kotynkevych had noticed that the Association should become a bridge between the state, business and investors.

 “All problems in our country rise of corruption and lack of competence. Gambling industry is no exception. Besides, it is my belief that lack of appropriate competence had de-jure caused a prohibition of gambling and de-facto leaded to its existence in most uncivilised form of all. That’s why our mission is not in criticising or analysing what we already have but in developing an appropriate expert environment that will help our country to determine a place of gambling business in Ukraine and to facilitate mechanisms for its rehabilitation. We shall make all our effort to achieve this and we hope that our governmental bodies shall not turn its back on us, - “said Vasyl Kotynkevych.

In her turn, the member of the Board and the UGIA Expert Board Alina Pliushch had emphasised that the Expert Board is still forming. Negotiations were held with local as well as international experts. Most of them gave their consent.

 “As for now, principal participants of gaming market (operators, equipment manufacturers, certification agencies) who can share their experience in the niche are not present in Ukraine. That’s why we had established an advisory body – the Expert Board that includes experts from the world’s leading gaming associations, representatives of world’s key stakeholders within all segments of the gambling market (lottery, betting, casino, games of skills), experts from the companies that set market standards and representatives of international gambling moderators”, stated Alina Pliushch.  

Yevhenii Kachalov, the winner of different international poker competitions had been also present at the press conference. Yevhenii at the UGIA shall focus on poker.

 “Poker is a sport for me. It is a game of skills and in most countries of the world it is legal. I don’t understand why this game raises so many questions in Ukraine.  Being an expert I’m ready to provide support in working out a legal basis for poker in Ukraine. Why now it is time to legitimate gambling business and working out legal options for gaming industry as a whole? Because this business exists, it can’t be denied and it shall not be on its own. It needs regulation. It is so obvious, but why it is still impossible to do it in Ukraine is a rhetorical question, - said Yevhenii Kachalov, the member of the UGIA Expert Board.

Informational background:

 Non-governmental organisation “Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association” (the UGIA) has been founded in August 2016.

The UGIA goals: to promote gaming legalisation in Ukraine in accordance with world’s best practice, drafting progressive legislative initiatives for gaming industry, attracting international investments into country’s economy and development of gaming services on the basis of a positive competition.  

Mission and values: high quality standards of gaming services at the Ukrainian market, protecting rights of customers and operators.