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Exclusive Interview with Iryna Sergienko, CEO of the Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association

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Iryna is the CEO of the Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association since August 2016 and also a Board Member of the All-Ukrainian Union for bookmaking development from 2014

As an Attorney at Law, her specialization includes gambling, IT – business and sports law. A member of the Interagency Working Group for consideration and resolution of problematic issues in the field of gambling and lotteries (2015).

Consultant of Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Family, Youth and Sports issues. Member of the Committee on Ethics and Fair Play of the Foot-ball Federation of Ukraine. Author (co-author, editor) publication “Legal regulation of gambling business. European experience. Practices in post-soviet countries. Perspectives for Ukraine” (Eng, Ukr. 2015)

Participant (speaker) of numerous specialized international conferences on issues of legal regulation of gambling., partici-pated in the draftng of Tax Code of Ukraine in the version 2014 in part of tax issues for the gambling industry.

 

What is the key mission of the event, since there are many rumors that the market will be opened for licensing in 2018?

Iryna: Ukraine today has come to the crucial point in legalization of the gambling industry. There is more and more understanding that this business should be transparent and profitable for the investors, the State and society.

The Summit is designed as a platform where the experts, officials and businessmen from across the world can share their ideas and experience on how the gaming industry become legal, safe and properly regulated, so it can attract investors, generate revenues for the State budget and be consumer friendly and responsible.

Therefore, we organize this event in order to convert the public discussion into particular legislation framework.

Can you share with us the reason why delegates should attend the inaugural edition of the Ukrainian Gaming Summit?

Iryna: The situation in Ukraine is very dynamic, and each month the Parliament launches large-scale reforms. We can see a political commitment to reforms agenda and the Parliament’s capability to adopt necessary laws. It may occur, gaming industry will become legalized in the very nearest future and this event will directly influence market access conditions. The Cabinet of Ministers registered its draft gambling law #4663. Along with other drafts, they all are at the current legislative agenda of the Parliament.

Therefore, participants of the Summit will be discussing all possible ways of legislating the gaming industry properly. Every visitor has a chance to share his views and ideas. Comments foreign participants will be mostly valued – world markets have more experience and practices in implementing different types of legislation with good or bad consequences.

The event is also a good opportunity for investors looking for new markets or finding new partners in the developing markets.

As far as we know, there will be plenty of keynote speakers from the local government. What is the opinion of the regulators and legislators about the online and land-based industry in Ukraine?

Iryna: Most officials and lawmakers view the gaming industry (both online and offline) as an additional source of budget revenues, and that is legitimate part of their job. Ukrainian government needs more money for building new infrastructure, keeping the army and funding social programs. Financial aid from the IMF, the key international donor, was also made dependent upon legalization of the gaming industry (implementation of gaming laws is written in the IMF memorandum agreed with Ukraine).

The only thing that has to be taken into consideration – how to build the legislation in a proper way by taking into account the interests of all stakeholders: business, the State and society. The taxation should not distract business, the investor’s rights should be protected, the society should be protected from fraud and abuses.

The Summit will discuss all these topics.

Given the fact the 2017 has been a year where some EU countries have made important steps towards opening up their markets for remote operators to apply for local licenses, do you think that this will be the case in Ukraine?

Iryna: It is simply inevitable. Ukraine has quite developed IT infrastructure, in particular in payments sector, and plenty of human resources. Even now, when the Ukrainian industry functions in shadow, online gambling dominates and continues to develop.

As a closing question, we would like to ask about the main takeaways of the event. What will be the main takeaways of the event?

Iryna: The first and important outcome of this event should be a creation of the legislation with adequate and sound market access. In addition, we expect the Summit to become a place for businesses, both Ukrainian and foreign, to meet each other and discuss investment projects in Ukraine.

 

You can register for the Ukrainian Gaming Summit (UGS 2017) by clicking on the banner below:

UGS 2017 - Ukraine

 

Reka is an Experienced English second language teacher with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Microsoft Excel, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Translation, Foreign Languages, and Lecturing. Strong education professional with a Bachelor’s Degree majored in English Language and Literature/Letters. Reka is in charge of conducting the exclusive interviews on European Gaming and our printed magazine

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CEEGC 2019

Bulgarian gambling industry becoming more and more interesting for international companies

Zoltan Tundik

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EGT Interactive Legal Counsel / Compliance Manager to share industry insight about the Bulgarian market at CEEGC 2019 Budapest.

Recent headlines in the gambling industry media outlets have reported that the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance has appointed Alexander Georgiev as the new Head of Bulgaria’s State Gambling Commission, however, there has been quite a few movements in the region that need mentioning.

The former head, Maria Filipova, is appointed as the deputy chairman of the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) and is now in charge of the Investment Activity Supervision Division.

The naming of the new and now former Head of Bulgaria’s State Gambling Commission comes after the dismissal of Ohnemir Mitev, who was accused by media publications in regards to the commissions’ inaction against the aggressive advertising of gambling on national televisions.

Besides the shifts in the state-wide industry management, there have been quite a few large names mentioned that have entered the market or established strategic offices.

Kambi Group plc is now powering the international sports betting expansion of Bulgaria’s National Lottery JSC after the two companies strengthened their partnership by signing an extended sportsbook agreement.

The new deal which is already in effect enables Kambi to continue to provide its Sportsbook and managed services to the National Lottery JSC’s 7777.bg brand in Bulgaria and in addition, support the operator’s planned entry into Moldova this summer.

Scientific Games has also successfully launched the first in a series of online slot games with National Lottery Bulgaria and within 24 hours following the initial launch of nine player-favorite digital games, the games generated over a half million Euros in sales.

Scientific Games’ partnership with National Lottery Bulgaria builds on the Company’s presence in regulated European gaming markets, where it is reaching new players with a portfolio of immersive online games. The launch in Bulgaria included globally renowned favorites like 88 Fortunes®, Giant’s Gold®, and Rainbow Riches™. Scientific Games plans to launch more titles with National Lottery Bulgaria in 2019 to entertain a broader audience and drive player engagement.

Microgaming, one of the industry’s leading software providers, is also now live with National Lottery AD to provide its award-winning poker platform in Bulgaria.

The major poker deal, signed through Prima Networks Limited, marks the first time that Microgaming’s poker network has been made available in the Bulgarian market. The move is in line with Microgaming’s strategic goal of continuing to expand its presence in key regulated markets.

All these movements are recorded on the supplier side, however, when we examine the operators’ side, it is a totally different story. However, this doesn’t mean that the industry isn’t booming at the moment in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Trade Association of Manufacturers and Operators in the Gaming Industry’s (BTAMOI) has reported in at the end of 2018 that the country’s online gaming revenues showed a growth in the last financial year. The industry paid €57 million in taxes to the government, which corresponds to a 17 percent 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 a national level, based on the country’s upward economic performance.”

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

At the 4th edition of the yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference, which takes place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest, Georgi Dimitrov, Legal Counsel / Compliance Manager at EGT Interactive will join the “Regulated Central and Eastern European jurisdictions” compliance panel discussion and share the latest insights on the subject and how Bulgaria can be a good opportunity for operators to expand in regulated markets.

About Georgi Dimitrov

Georgi Dimitrov is a legal counsel at EGT Interactive Ltd., with a focus on legal, regulatory and technical compliance matters related to the iGaming industry. He specializes in international gambling regulation and provides guidance on licensing and certification frameworks, policy drafting, and compliance processes. His line of work involves communication with local stakeholders in the business such as testing labs, regulators and operators. He has background in company structuring, M&A, business and corporate development and extensive expertise in competition law. As a lawyer, he has advised the Bulgarian operations of large-scale corporate clients and public authorities.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Browse the official event website here: www.ceegc.eu

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Eastern Europe

Viva! Casino Sofia Install CLOVER LINK WALL EDITION of APEX gaming

Niji Narayan

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Viva! Casino Sofia Install CLOVER LINK WALL EDITION of APEX gaming
Photo Source: chillisauce.com
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Viva! Casino Sofia has installed the CLOVER LINK WALL EDITION of APEX gaming. The Casino management has chosen the WALL EDITION since this can easily be expanded as player popularity rises.

Viva! Casino Sofia, located in the Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan, has recently been renovated and offers both live gaming and slots. The highlight of the renovation has been the introduction of the CLOVER LINK games.

“We can truly see the difference that CLOVER LINK makes in our casino. CLOVER LINK is a game that captures the hearts of our customers. We can see how much they enjoy playing this game,” commented Mr. Emin Rizvan, Slot Manager at Viva! Casino Sofia. Mr. Alper Hergul, General Manager at Viva! Casino Sofia added “We are delighted with the reaction of our customers to CLOVER LINK. I know that the APEX gaming motto is to take gaming to the next level. This is certainly the case here.”

Georgi Lungolov, International Sales Manager, at APEX gaming is rightly proud of such excellent feedback and noted, “Viva! Casino Sofia is a very well known and respected casino in Bulgaria. The casino management is extremely innovative and open to introduce new exciting solutions. We are proud that CLOVER LINK is seen this way.”

Kubilay Özer, Global Sales Director at APEX gaming added, “We’d like to send our special thanks to Alper and Emin for their positivity and determination in bringing CLOVER LINK to their customers. The feedback we have received is excellent.”

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Eastern Europe

Greentube draws on over a decade of insights in latest partnership with Georgian supplier Adjarabet

George Miller

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Greentube draws on over a decade of insights in latest partnership with Georgian supplier Adjarabet
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Greentube, the NOVOMATIC Interactive division, is excited to announce its latest partnership with Adjarabet, Georgia’s largest online betting and casino operator.

 

As the result of a swift and seamless integration of Casino Adjarabet via the Greentube platform, Georgian customers are now enjoying market-leading slot titles such as Book of RaTM deluxe, Sizzling HotTM deluxe and Lucky Lady’s CharmTM on the Adjarabet website.

Greentube’s parent company NOVOMATIC entered the Georgian market over 10 years prior to this recent partnership and it is with their intel concerning Georgian market preferences that Greentube and Adjarabet have made their careful and customised initial game selection of over 100 titles. As highlighted through the NOVOMATIC findings, this selection was heavily driven by consumer preference towards fruit games.

Tom Hutchinson, Director of Casino at Adjarabet, commented: “We’re extremely excited to have added Greentube games onto Adjarabet. Greentube is a very popular and well-known online casino games vendor in Georgia and its games, specifically the blue-chip titles from NOVOMATIC have a very strong presence in land-based casinos here. For that reason, I’m positive Greentube will be one of the top suppliers we offer at Adjarabet.”

Armen Tatarevic, Greentube Key Account/Sales Manager, added: “Going live with Adjarabet certainly marks a milestone for Greentube. Adjarabet is the Georgian market leader which makes us proud to welcome them on board. Greentube and NOVOMATIC games have proven to be players’ favourites in Georgia, both land-based and online. We are convinced that Adjarabet’s players will enjoy playing our full suite of feature-rich slot, jackpot and fruit games, to get a taste of what will be coming to casino floors in Georgia in the near future.”

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