Anton Kuchukhidze, Ukraine Gambling Council (UGC)

Anton Kuchukhidze: Ukraine regroups to complete unfinished gambling agenda 

Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukraine Gambling Council (UGC) has provided an update on Ukrainian gambling developments under the active Russian aggression.  

Speaking to CIS markets news sources SBCCIS, Kuchukhidze disclosed that regulator the UGC had re-established its regulatory duties five months following Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

UGC  oversees a marketplace that has been severely disrupted by the conflict across all Ukrainian provinces, especially in the occupied eastern cities such as Kherson and Mykolaiv.

However, the UGC remains steadfast in their commitment to restore an active gambling market,  reopened alongside other domestic industries, as Ukraine’s business and economy require. 

“In the west of Ukraine, of course, the situation is better. Both casinos and slot machine halls function there, but, obviously, the tourist flow of people has fallen, and according to the law, casinos and slot machines can only be located in hotels,” Kuchukhidze told SBCCIS.

“We recognise that because of the war, not many tourists are ready to visit us. Therefore, the number of visitors to gambling halls also decreased significantly.”

Mirroring all government departments, the operational resources of market regulator KRAIL  Ukraine’s Gambling and Lotteries Council have been affected by the war, impacting its regulatory capacity of land-based and online offerings. 

Yet, Kuchukhidze remains upbeat on returning to regulatory duties “as KRAIL has retained its role as a bridge between business and the state.”

“We are still the largest association in terms of the number of participants that have maintained an 80% market shareholding,” he added.

Elsewhere, Ukrainian gambling has not escaped the political consequences of the conflict. Last August, KRAIL disbanded the Advisory and Expert Council which served as a policy and commercial advisor since its regulatory foundation and had assisted KRAIL’s duties in finalising the remaining regulatory measures of Ukraine’s Gambling Law.

KRAIL had confirmed that the council had been disbanded, as Ukraine media reported on the ‘close ties’ of Council Leader Boris Baum and bookmaker 1XBet (accusations that have been dismissed by 1XBet). 

Speaking on the sensitive matter, Kuchukhidze reflected: “Since August last year, the Council has not met, and had not generated any decisions. Therefore, I understand the decision was that the council was no longer required.

“There is nothing unusual in this. Considering that this is a norm of the law, I am sure that there will be a new council formed,  which will include people who will be able to fulfill the provisions on the functioning of this body.”

Despite the conflict’s continued interruptions, Kuchukhidze stated the UGC regulatory agenda would remain on carrying out market reforms that had been agreed upon in 2021.

Though limited by war constraints, UGC is confident of KRAIL achieving its regulatory duties, supported by Ukraine’s world-class IT sector, that will help the nation’s post-war economic recovery.

“I want to pay tribute to the Commission, which did not stop working for a single day, and was always in touch with members,” Kuchukhidze noted.

“I believe that there is no more critical moment than a war to test true desires of the marketplace. This is a critical moment, both sides proved that reform must take place.”

Check Also

SBC News 1XBET extends five-year FC Barcelona sponsorship

1XBET extends five-year FC Barcelona sponsorship

1XBET has renewed a deal with FC Barcelona as the online gambling company continues to …

SBC News 1xBet supports global growth of Volleyball in five-year deal

1xBet supports global growth of Volleyball in five-year deal

1xBet has been named the global betting partner of Volleyball World in a five-year agreement. …

SBC News PIN-UP.TECH raises the bar on anti-fraud processes with ML and AI models

PIN-UP.TECH raises the bar on anti-fraud processes with ML and AI models

PIN-UP.TECH, part of the international ecosystem PIN-UP Global, has announced that it will take anti-fraud …