Taxes for Gambling Business – the State Takes Important Steps

Taxes for Gambling Business – the State Takes Important Steps
Oct 10, 2021peter

Casino Life talks to Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council

For almost a year, the gambling business in Ukraine and the West was expecting progress on the taxation issues, and it finally happened. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine supported draft law 2713-d in the first reading. The law is aimed at regulating taxation of the gambling sector in Ukraine, as well as making it predictable for Western investors. The lack of the final tax rates makes the reform incomplete but now there are reasons for positive expectations.
Even before the voting itself, the Ukrainian Gambling Council supported the amended draft law 2713-d. In our statement, we underlined that the major benefits of the draft law are the following provisions:

1. Ten percent GGR rate for all types of gambling and the introduction of the concept of differentiation in the calculation of this tax;
2. taxation of only those winnings exceeding eight times the minimum wage;
3. the cancellation of the triple license fees for the relevant gambling segments, including a crucial point: All triple license fees already paid will be converted          into future annual license fees; and
4. the Committee on Finance, Taxation and Customs Policy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine requested the National Bank of Ukraine to review the maximum      amount of cash settlements with individuals for land-based casinos.

Today, within UGC we started a dialogue between our operators on whether the law should be improved or remain unamended. UGC operators are still forming their position since they take this draft law very seriously.

Revision of any draft law can be a never-ending process, but I would like to appreciate the work of the authorities and the ruling faction. Finally, there are no manipulations regarding this draft law in the Parliament at the professional level. The members of Parliament demonstrated their will to increase both legal revenues to the budget and investment inflow, as it became clear what exactly the Western gambling giants have been waiting for. Such an environment in the Parliament will definitely contribute to the finalization of this reform in the autumn and the gambling sector will finally receive clear rules of the game.
The approval of the draft law in the first reading is a signal for Western companies to start active preparations for entering the Ukrainian market. We can confidently say that the reform wasn’t only launched but is also developing.

I communicate a lot with many foreign companies, and they often ask me a very simple question: Will local operators interfere with the entry of foreign companies into the Ukrainian market? The question is completely logical, considering how much money investors spend to start a gambling business in Ukraine.

I can’t speak for everyone and on behalf of the entire market – I can only speak for the UGC operators. All our members are positive about this issue and stand for free and fair competition. Here are some examples:

  • one of the UGC operators believes that there should be at least four to five large casinos in Kyiv, and
  •  another UGC member wants Ukraine to become the major gambling hub in Central and Eastern Europe.

It is obvious that the abovementioned inspirations are pointless without increasing foreign investments in our country. Thus, don’t believe fake news: Ukraine as a state, and its local business, supports the increase of the gambling market through the attraction of Western investments since it’s a win-win for everyone.

The opening and launch of the gambling business took place largely at the expense of local investors, but now it is time for the next wave of the gambling boom. The state looks forward to that realizing that only foreign investors can ensure it.