On December 18, Smile-Expo International Company held major Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference dedicated to gambling legalization issues in Ukraine.
The event involved foreign gambling experts as well as representatives of Ukrainian government agencies and specialized associations. Speakers talked about the bill on gambling business regulation and examined legalization opportunities for the economy. They also presented case studies of the gambling platform development in different countries.
The event was moderated by Tetiana Klymenko, Head of Legal Department at Law & Trust International.
The conference was opened by Tetiana Klymenko. Her presentation was dedicated to systems for financial and tax monitoring of gambling activities. She thoroughly analyzed the oversight in such jurisdictions as the UK, the Isle of Man, and Malta.
Carlo Pagan told guests about special features of gambling company promotion. He provided the best practices by foreign gambling platforms and explained what tools helped them in successful casino advertising. He stressed mistakes that should be avoided while developing a brand.
Mr. Pagan believes that Ukraine should not totally ban gambling advertising, but it has to adopt restrictions protecting children.
Charmaine Hogan, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Playtech, focused on fighting against gambling addiction at the legislative level. Reportedly, one can use AI-based programs to combat problem gambling. They allow to analyze players’ behavior, detect and prevent potential risks.
The audience was highly intrigued by Lavrenty Gubin, Marketing and Public Relations Director at Storm International. He revealed how to build a high-quality casino service from scratch. The expert maintains that gambling business owners should rely on their customer preferences. According to the speaker, modern gamblers primarily pay attention to the list of available games, venue location, and its reputation. Besides, casino bonuses are quite significant to players.
Maryna Martynenko, Head of HR at Slotegrator, made a presentation on the selection of gambling personnel. She clarified where to find professional employees.
A joint speech was delivered by Sergio Suárez, Senior Technical Compliance Engineer at Gaming Laboratories International, and Nadya Hambach, Gambling law expert at Velchev & Co. They highlighted international experiences in licensing gambling operators.
Sergio emphasizes that technical certification of gambling products is a crucial part of the licensing process. He described the stages of this work.
Viktoriya Ivakhno, Senior Lawyer at SBSB, prepared a presentation: Licensing of gambling software providers as part of B2B certification. She reviewed games subject to certification and gave tips on undergoing this procedure.
The event featured a round table with six Ukrainian specialists:
• Ihor Makiievskyi, Head at All-Ukrainian Association of Employers in the Recreation and Entertainment Sector;
• Iryna Sergienko, President of the Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association (UGIA);
• Oleksiy Yevchenko, Vice President of UGIA;
• Yuriy Husyev, Head of Kherson Regional State Administration;
• Halyna Vertsymaha, Head of the Department of administrative and common services markets at the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine;
• Mykhailo Dvorskyi, Head of Legal Department at Digital Choo.
The discussion was moderated by Tamara Golubchik, Director of the Ukrainian Gaming Business Association.
Round table participants discussed gambling legalization bills and offered amendments to corresponding documents. They shared their expert opinions and answered attendees’ questions.
Iryna Sergienko stated that organizational management of the specialized committee acting as the authorized body could slow down the transformation of the Ukrainian gambling market. She holds that gambling license fees should fulfill business interests as well. By the way, the expert did not support the idea of introducing license issuing e-auctions.
Oleksiy Yevchenko drew the audience’s attention to the fact that gambling legalization bills submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine did not specify gambling zones in the conventional sense. The speaker considers that similar zones could attract more investments to Ukraine.
At the same time, Ihor Makiievskyi supposes that the law should strictly distinguish legal types of gambling businesses within Ukraine. It will allow to prevent situations when a certain gambling activity is implemented as an entirely different one. In the speaker’s opinion, the gambling legalization bill should create beneficial conditions for investments in the Ukrainian infrastructure.
Round table participants underlined that expert and entrepreneur opinions should be taken into account when developing gambling legalization bills. According to Halyna Vertsymaha, foreign experiences in gambling business growth is also important in this matter.
Yuriy Husyev gave insight into gambling legalization prospects. He stressed that the approval of the corresponding law could provide the Kherson Region with new investments and infrastructure evolution. The politician predicts that Ukraine will require at least 6-8 months to arrange gambling operations in case of successful adoption of the law. Furthermore, he is sure that the gambling legalization law will be ultimately approved and gambling business will start growing the next year.
Mykhailo Dvorskyi commented on the gambling advertising regulation. He asked MPs not to impose the total advertising ban like in Italy. In the speaker’s view, it can put legal casinos into an unequal position with illegal ones. The expert supports the introduction of reasonable restrictions and thinks that gambling advertising should be targeted.
Feedback about the conference
Speakers and visitors highly appreciated the event. They mentioned such advantages as relevant topics and competent experts.
“Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference is a wonderful event. It brought together many speakers, globally renowned experts, and professionals. Excellent event,” Tetiana Klymenko said.
“I liked that the conference engaged multi-faceted speakers and covered a wide list of topics. Foreign experience is extremely useful. To my mind, it is valuable both to develop bills and to apply certain provisions in legal documents. I believe that this event is a perfect platform for experience exchange,” Halyna Vertsymaha stated.
Ihor Makiievskyi pointed out the importance of holding events dedicated to gambling legalization matters: “I’ve got a positive impression of the conference. I think that such public gambling legalization events are necessary. Furthermore, there is a lack of them. Industry players, as well as the authorities, should have held similar events a long time ago in order to explain their attitude to people. We express our gratitude to organizers of Kyiv iGaming Affiliate Conference for responding to the market demand on time.”