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Interview with Iryna Sergienko, CEO of the All-Ukrainian Union on Bookmaking and speaker at EEGS2015

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Iryna Sergienko has 15 years of experience in law and provides legal support of gambling activities, IT activities and sports law. She also holds a large list of occupations such as the ones listed bellow:

  • Director of Law Firm “”Fomin, Sergienko and partners””
  • Director General of All-Ukrainian Union on Bookmaking Development
  • Consultant of the Committee of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Family, Youth and Sports
  • A member of Interagency Working Group to review and address problematic issues in the field of gambling and lotteries.

Iryna will hold a Regulatory update for Ukraine with the following title: Is gambling going to be introduced back to Ukraine? The presentation will take place at the Eastern European Gaming Summit, which is going to be held between 23-24 November, 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

EEG: Hi Irina, Ukraine has been in the spotlight of the world for many things, but never in the eyes of the online gambling industry. With such a large economy and a well build land-based regulation, do you feel that the re-introduction of online gambling is likely to happen in 2016?

Iryna: We are almost sure!  An established communication between business and state has already given a result. We have compounded over several issues: differentiation of bookmaking and gambling (both on-line and off-line), licensing  and standardization of each type of business, issuing of rules of socially responsible game. And most important – we have arranged amendments into tax legislation, along with unified bets and payments administration system. Before this system will be implemented business has agreed to pay increased license fee despite its turnover.

EEG: Has the Ukrainian government learned from the past and will they reach out for EU consultations on creating the right framework as other neighboring countries such as Romania did?

Iryna: We consider, that  Ukraine should adopt the experience of bookmaking and gambling legalization from European countries as she does in other areas such as decentralization, fighting corruption, reforms of the judicial system etc –. All-Ukrainian Union on Bookmaking Development helps to find optimal legislative solution for regulating the bookmaker’s market. This implies cooperation with international experts, analysis of the world bookmaker’s legislation trends, participation in all kinds of discussions between business, state and public.

At the same time, every market has  its own specifics. We consider that copying the governance model of any country is not the best solution. We should take the best and examine how it would work on particular market of particular country.

 We are on the right track as the most of the authorities understand that the moratorium on bookmaking and gambling in 2009 was a mistake which forced the business to escape into illegal “shadow”. As a result, business works through Internet, the county doesn’t receive billions of taxes annually; thousands of employees were dismissed and left without social protections. Not mentioning that the issue of socially responsible game was pushed away from the legislation.

EEG: The Ukrainian authorities expect that the legalization of gambling will be an additional source of income for the national budget, as well as contribute to the development of hotel and tourism business. Do you think that it will gain the right push for foreign operators to start investing in Ukraine? It is certainly a large market.

Iryna: For about 6 years the country is exercising the Gambling moratorium. In spite of the fact that some players escape into illegal “shadow” lots of opportunities and idle niches will appear on this market after gambling legalization. . According to our calculations, in the first year of legalization the state budget will obtain from UAH500 million up to UAH1 billion, and 5000 employees will be hired. Also the source of corruption within law enforcement authorities will be terminated. The horse-races and horse breeding would also become popular and attractive for business development. All these possibilities will attract foreign tourists in Ukraine and foreign investment capital into Ukrainian bookmaking and gambling business.

Nevertheless, there are additional issues that should be taken into consideration by the state and parliament: preferences of state owned operators over private ones, hotel categories with permission to keep casinos, types and volumes of taxes.

We hope that in the near future these issues will be solved and bookmaking and gambling business will recommence next year.

If you would like to get the unique opportunity to ask all your important questions about the recent gambling developments in Ukraine, be sure to attend the Eastern European Gaming Summit at which Iryna Sergienko shall give her expert opinion. For 8th consecutive year on 23 – 24 November 2015, Inter Expo Center in Sofia, Bulgaria will bring together under one roof world’s leading figures and companies from the industry to present and outline current market developments and future trends with global vision and focus on the Eastern European market.

Visit the EEGS website here.

Bulgaria

Online gaming revenues surge in Bulgaria

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Online-gaming-revenues-Bulgaria Online gaming revenues surge in BulgariaReading Time: 1 minute

The Bulgarian Trade Association of Manufacturers and Operators in the Gaming Industry’s (BTAMOI) reports that the country’s online gaming revenues showed a growth in the last financial year. The industry paid €57 million in taxes to government, which corresponds to a 17 per cent rise year on year. BTAMOI said in a press release: “For the period 2017/2018 the gaming industry in Bulgaria has shown very good results at national level, based on the country’s upward economic performance.”

The online gambling segment in Bulgaria represents about 10 per cent of the country’s total gambling market. The segment posted a revenue of €89 million in the nine months to September 30, a spike of 30 per cent compared to the figure same time last year.

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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Bulgaria

Bulgaria adds more websites to iGaming blacklist

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Bulgaria-iGaming-blacklist Bulgaria adds more websites to iGaming blacklistReading Time: 1 minute

The State Commission on Gambling (SCG) of Bulgaria has added four more websites to its blacklist of iGaming companies that are operating without a license.

The four websites added to the blacklist as per order no. 1913 of October 28 and no. 1991 of November 9 are nissicasino.com, 1xbet72.com, pokernox.com, 1xdcxc.host.

The SCG periodically updates the list of illegal gambling sites.

The State Commission on Gambling has been established for the purpose of inspecting the compliance with the law of the activity of the gambling games organisers, the producers of gabling game equipment, the distributors and service organisations for the maintenance and repair works of such equipment performed on the territory of Bulgaria.

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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Balkan's

49 gamblers turn millionaires in 2017 in Bulgaria

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National Revenue Agency (NRA) of Bulgaria has reported that 49 gamblers in the country became millionaires in 2017 alone. The agency has also stated that the total winnings from gambling received Bulgarian gamblers in 2017 amounted to BGN 627 million.

The report also indicates that as many as 13,447 Bulgarian gamblers have won more than 5,000 BGN last year.

The biggest winning was 9,815,422 BGN, and the game is not specified. The second biggest winning amounted to BGN 7.9 million, the third place was 5.7 million BGN. The other TOP 10 winners of the ranking have won from 4 to 5 million levs, the NRA reports. A total of 49 Bulgarians have become millionaires due to gambling last year with their winnings over 1 mln BGN.

80 Bulgarians have won between BGN 500,000 and BGN 1 million. Most gamblers, 12,395 people were lucky to receive winnings between BGN 5,000 and BGN 100,000.

The NRA statistics is not segmented by type of gambling because such information was not collected. However, it is clear from the tax agency data that the biggest winning was paid by companies which are the lottery operators.

The National Lottery has paid more than 5,000 levs to 6,209 people, according to official data from the NRA. Eurobet has provided such prizes to 259 people, New Games reported about 672 winners.

Since the lottery operators are required by law to pay out at least 50 per cent of the value of the bets, it can be concluded that turnover of lotteries is about BGN 1 billion in Bulgaria.

 

Source: E-PLAY Online

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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