GGA: Ivan Rudyi about the gambling industry in Ukraine during the war

On February 24, Russia invaded the territory of sovereign Ukraine and launched hostilities, which to this day. During this time all business sectors in Ukraine were severely affected and the gambling industry was no exception. 

Especially against the background when gambling became legal in the country two years ago and not all aspects of regulation are working properly yet.

The head of the Ukrainian Gambling and Lottery Regulatory Commission (KRAIL) Ivan Rudyi spoke with the Georgian Gambling Business Association (GGA) about the current situation in Ukraine during the war and future prospects. 

Rudyi noted that today, more than ever, it is important to support the economy of Ukraine. And the gambling market has already started resuming its work. This is evidenced by the resumption of land gambling establishments in regions where the threat of Russian military aggression is low. 

The online sector did not stop working. KRAIL is in constant contact with gambling operators, keeps in touch with them and helps to resolve important issues. 

“It can be said that the business environment of gambling in Ukraine works in extremely difficult conditions, but at the same time it shows positive dynamics in view of reception of payment for licenses. So, over 770.34 million hryvnias have already been received in half a year. That is, we are confidently moving towards fulfilling the annual plan,” – said Rudyi. 

According to him, 11 out of 19 organizers of gambling games, which conduct their activities in land-based gambling establishments, continue to work. Others temporarily closed all their gambling establishments. Out of 17 organizers of gambling games that conduct their activities online, only one organizer announced the termination of their activities.

However, since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, KRAIL received numerous appeals and requests from licensees regarding the conduct of activities under martial law. In particular, the suspension of activities, the release of licensees from liability for non-payment or late payment of the license fee due to the occurrence of force majeure circumstances due to Russia’s military aggression, the postponement of the payment of license fee after the termination or cancellation of martial law, etc.

“Today one of the most priority initiatives of the Government is the introduction of measures to support business and deregulate economic activity during the period of martial law in Ukraine. This is also the provision of favorable business conditions for the post-war recovery of the national economy and the reconstruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure,” – Rudyi added.

According to the head of KRAIL, the legislation improvement will attract investments to the country. Some changes in the bill will improve the situation on the Ukrainian market and encourage investors to invest in the development of the country. Thus, Ukraine will be able to become an attractive and reliable gaming hub.

Due to the ongoing hostilities, Ukraine has temporarily lost an important development tool – the ability to invite foreign experts and exchange experience with them. However, Rudyi emphasizes that the industry is accustomed to the online format and keeps in touch with foreign colleagues.

“It is worth saying that we should not count on an easy recovery, however, with the expert support of colleagues from foreign gambling structures, this path will be more efficient and effective,” – he concluded. 

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