LEGALIZATION OF GAMBLING BUSINESS IN UKRAINE. BOOKMAKERS VISION

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1 LEGALIZATION OF GAMBLING BUSINESS IN UKRAINE. BOOKMAKERS VISION

2 Information about speaker Iryna Sergienko CEO, Member of the Board of Directors of All-Ukrainian Union for Bookmaking Development Member of Interdepartmental Workgroup on Consideration and Solution of Problems in regard to Gambling and Lotteries Counselor of the Committee of Ukrainian Parliament on family, youth policy, sports and tourism issues Managing partner, Director of Law Firm Fomin, Sergienko and Partners 2

3 Regulation of bookmaking activity before 2009 Betting business: is a legal kind of business activity is recognized as gambling activity can be conducted upon license is regulated under non-legislative acts there is no special law on gambling 3

4 MORATORIUM ON GAMBLING 25 June 2009, Law of Ukraine On Prohibition of Gambling Business in Ukraine came into effect. The Law prescribed: gambling business is prohibited, inter alia, bookmaking business; all licenses issued for gambling business are withdrawn no reimbursement of paid license fees no compensation for loses of gambling business; participation in gambling activity is prohibited conducting of gambling business is recognized as criminal offence, which is subject to criminal responsibility participation in gambling is recognized as administrative offence, which is subject to administrative responsibility In the final clauses of the Law On Prohibition of Gambling Business in Ukraine was pointed 3-month term for development by state authorities of legislation on gambling business regulation IT S BEEN OVER 6 YEARS, BUT NEW LAW ON GAMBLING IS NOT ADOPTED! 4

5 MORATORIUM ON GAMBLING IN UKRAINE. AFTERMATH 1 Business went into shadow necessarily, keeps providing gambling on the Internet and under nominally legal cover Lottery toto (=fix odds betting) and Momentary lottery (=slot-machines) The state doesn t receive billions of tax revenues annually Gambling business collaborates necessarily with corrupted enforcement authorities Thousands of employees of bookmaking companies lost official job and social protection Gambling is conducted on the Internet out of control on the offshore companies websites Problem of social responsibility of gambling occurred out of the legal framework that leads as a result to increase of negative consequences for gambling activity of society Sponsorship of Ukrainian sport was decreased significantly due to prohibition of betting advertising and absence of commercial effect of such sponsorship Racecourses and horse husbandry fell into critical recession. THE OUTPUT IS CLEAR: Gambling business has to return into legal boundaries of Ukraine and work on reinforcement of the Ukraine s international image, as well as for economic development of Ukraine. 5

6 ON THE WAY TOWARDS LEGALIZATION Today, the majority of representatives of Ukrainian authorities understand that it is time to repair the mistake made in So, in August 2014 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine represented by the Ministry of Finance initiated dialogue between the Government, business and society for the purpose of elaboration of decision on conditions of gambling legalization. In the framework of legislative package state budget , which included three draft laws on lotteries, casino and bookmaking business as of , Ukrainian Parliament at the initiative of the Government adopted amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine. The pointed amendments provided conditions of taxation of casino and bookmaking business, at the same time, legalization issue didn t win enough votes for consideration. The Ukrainian Parliament made decision on necessity to improve suggested draft laws. As a result, in January 2015 the Ministry of Finance created Interdepartmental Workgroup on Consideration and Solution of Problems in regard to Gambling and Lotteries. The Government, business representatives and experts, members of Ukrainian Parliament participated in this dialogue. Today this dialogue keeps on In total, over the period from December 2014 to September 2015 there were 10 draft laws registered in the Ukrainian Parliament, which proposed gambling legalization. Today this dialogue keeps on 6

7 COORDINATED CONDITIONS OF MARKET REVIVAL Today in the framework of dialogue between government, business and society, it was succeeded to come to consensus in regard to following important issues: Lottery, fix odds betting and pari mutuel, casino will be correctly differentiated Every type of gambling will be regulated with due regard to its specific character (profit margin) and level of social risks Online gambling will be legalized as well as offline gambling To provide gambling services gambling operator has to obtain relevant license License cost will depend on type of gambling activity: lottery, casino, and bookmaking The market will operate according to principles of fair competition. However, requirements to gambling operators will be strict with the view of ensuring consumers interests 7

8 COORDINATED CONDITIONS OF MARKET REVIVAL 7 There will be instruments for prevention of unfair competition in online segment at the level of providers of the Internet services and financial institutions (payment systems) There will be established standards and rules of social responsible gambling. Compliance with pointed standards and rules will be one of the key license requirements for providing gambling services Taxation of gambling will be modified having regard to the fact that tax burden has to be reasonable and adequate, as well as take into account successful practice of foreign countries and average rate of profit margin In prospect, the state will implement uniform system of control of all stakes and payments in real-time mode for casino and lottery At an intermediate stage (before implementation of uniform system), business agrees to pay high license payment regardless of its activity results. However, amount of such payment anyway will be considered as a part of tax burden, and hence it will be reasonable and adequate 8

9 THE DIALOGUE KEEPS ON Will be there any preferences for state lottery providers as compared to private providers? Will be it permitted to place casino exclusively in 4 and 5-star hotels or such restrictions are unreasonable? Significant group of casino representatives insist that they should be provided possibility to place casino in non-residential premises with area size staring from 500 square meter, providing that these premises are not the part of residential areas, in which schools, state authorities, cultural establishment etc. are located. Is it reasonable to impose taxes on winnings and assign functions of fiscal agents on gambling providers? What will be the amount of tax burden for gambling providers (taxes, license payments, additional deductions for development of culture, sports, art, cinematograph etc. 9

10 IN SEARCH OF REASONABLE TAX MODEL FOR BOOKMAKING BUSINESS Proposals of business concerning taxation of betting providers Option 1 Before implementation of stakes tracking system License payment 75 million hrivnas per annum (to be paid monthly in equal shares). Corporate income tax 18 %. Personal income tax 15 % imposed on gambler s winnings (positive difference between winnings and made stakes). To be paid annually, calculated for every gambler separately, fiscal agent gambling provider. Advantages: easy for control there is no necessity for control over cash flow of betting provider there is no need of special system for stakes tracking 10

11 IN SEARCH OF REASONABLE TAX MODEL FOR BOOKMAKING BUSINESS Предложения бизнеса по налогообложению операторов букмекерской деятельности. Option 2 Before implementation of stakes tracking system License payment 20 million hrivnas per annum (to be paid monthly in equal shares). Tax on stakes 5 % to be paid monthly (imposed on all stakes made by all gamblers). Control will be conducted by present monitoring system of the Ministry of Finance. Corporate income tax 18 %. Personal income tax 15 % imposed on gambler s winnings (positive difference between winnings and made stakes). To be paid annually, calculated for every gambler separately, fiscal agent gambling provider. Advantages: easy for control. There is no need for special system for stakes tracking transparent for business and the state: tax burden depends on volume of business operations of gambling provider amount of license payment doesn t restrict entry into the market for new gambling companies 11

12 IN SEARCH OF REASONABLE TAX MODEL FOR BOOKMAKING BUSINESS Proposals of business concerning taxation of betting providers Option 3 After implementation of stakes tracking system License payment 20 million hrivnas per annum (to be paid monthly in equal shares). Tax on gross gaming revenue - 18% (imposed on positive difference between made stakes and winnings). Control - stakes tracking system of the Ministry of Finance. Corporate income tax 18 %. Personal income tax 15 % imposed on gambler s winnings (positive difference between winnings and made stakes). To be paid annually, calculated for every gambler separately, fiscal agent gambling provider. Advantages: transparent for business and the state: tax burden depends on gross revenue of gambling provider control over revenue of gambling provider in the stakes tracking system control over winnings of separate gambler and calculation of personal income tax in the stakes tracking system amount of license payment doesn t restrict entry into the market for new gambling companies 12

13 POTENTIAL ECONOMIC EFFECTS RESULTED BY LEGALIZA- TION OF BOOKMAKING BUSINESS FORECAST OF BETTING PROVIDERS State budget revenues from 600 million hrivnas to 1 billion Creation of jobs about 5000 official jobs Decrease of social risks related to uncontrolled gambling on the Internet and at illegal gambling houses Elimination of one more hefty channel of corruption charging law enforcement authorities Creation of the basis for revival of racecourses and horse husbandry Creation of one more favorable driver for increasing of tourism attractiveness of Ukraine Ukraine will make one more step on the way to EU and perform the obligation pointed in the article 133 of The Ukraine European Union Association Agreement, which prescribes that Ukraine is obliged to ensure compliance its legislation with legislation of EU. Pursuant to provisions of point 4 of EU Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, providing of gambling services has to be regulated and controlled intensely by state 13

14 THANK FOR KIND ATTENTION! 14

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