As momentum builds behind Ukraine government’s initiatives to overturn ban against gambling, a conference seeks to open up dialogue between the country’s lawmakers and industry experts.
A two-day event Game On: Bringing Gambling Back to Ukraine will be held on October 13-14 at the Hilton Hotel Kyiv.
The organizer of the conference, businessman Glyn Thomas, said that the country could potentially have one of the top casino industries in the world.
“Ukraine has the opportunity with this event to get it right, so it could actually be one of the best gambling industries in the world,” said Thomas. “Not only by virtue of starting afresh—it also has a background of IT companies that are involved in the gaming industry. A lot of software suppliers are based here already because of the renowned skill of the workforce.”
Anyone who has been in Ukraine for over 5 years will recall that it used to have a vibrant casino industry before its 2009 ban on gambling. The industry used to employ over 200,000 people and a further 150,000 in the whole range of other support businesses – from couriers to taxis, equipment suppliers and F&B providers.
Ukraine government believed that after six long years, now is the time to reassess how gambling can be introduced back in Ukraine – with robust legislation for casinos, sports betting and online gambling.
At that event, the government decision makers will be pleased to listen to the views of the gaming industry that will help to shape its vision for the future, not only for casinos, but also for online, lottery and sports betting.
“The government wishes to review current legislation and the possibility of bringing gambling back to Ukraine in a measured way using best practice from other countries,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, said in a statement. “The effect on jobs will be immediate, the increase in tourism will benefit the country as a whole and the income from taxes will greatly assist our reform measures. This is an option we cannot afford to ignore.”
“Sportsbetting can be easily compared with other branches of economy – oil and gas, machine building, metallurgical engineering – a necessary area for the country’s economy requiring legislation,” said Sergey Portnov, CEO of Parimatch, main sponsor of the event.
Portnov added that “a solid legal framework will positively affect labor market, increase tourism and help country’s economy flourish. That’s why there is an urgent need for Conferences such as Game on. This is an excellent platform for open dialogue with the government and other stakeholders on the subject of gambling regulation.”