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Covid-19 Sets Back Romanian Gambling Industry by Five Years

Niji Narayan

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Covid-19 Sets Back Romanian Gambling Industry by Five Years
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Covid-19 pandemic has set back the Romanian gambling industry by five years, according to the data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

The Romanian gambling operators experienced one of the most severe declines of the last 30 years between March and May this year. The local gambling and entertainment industry fell by about 24% in March 2020 compared to the same period of 2015. The gambling sector’s March turnover was only 57 % of February’s. Then, in April and May, gambling businesses reported almost zero revenue.

“Given the situation, we made the necessary business continuity decisions and decided that the safety of our customers and employees was our main priority. We focused on the long-term business principles and we organized our activity so that we would be able to adapt as quickly as possible to the multitude of changes that occurred during this period. For example, over the past three months we went from ‘closed until further notice’ to being open round the clock and then back to limited opening hours (until 11 PM, later extended to midnight), and we hope to be able to return to our non-stop hours as soon as possible. During all this time, we’ve been focusing on communicating with our clients and employees, for whom we’ve taken extra health and safety measures. Maintaining communication with professional associations and the authorities for accurate information on the latest developments concerning gambling halls was equally important,” Attila “Otto” Török, strategy director at Game World Romania, said.

According to the latest data provided by the National Gambling Office (ONJN), 250 gambling operators are currently active on the Romanian market. They contribute about EUR 600 million to the state budget every year. At the beginning of 2020, there were about 45,000 direct employees of the local gambling industry and a few other thousand worked in related and dependent fields.

“According to Romslot data, for each RON the Romanian gambling industry generates, the upstream and downstream industries – HoReCa, IT&C, security – generate another 5 RON,” Török said.

He added that Game World currently has about 400 employees, while the parent group has a workforce of about 2000.

When talking about the biggest challenges the gambling industry is now facing, Török says these are related to the coronavirus pandemic and the health crisis, even though all operators have strictly implemented all the measures required by authorities to limit the spread of the virus.

Compliance Updates

Parimatch became the first company in Ukraine to receive permission for a betting license

George Miller

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Parimatch became the first company in Ukraine to receive permission for a betting license
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After signing a law on the legalization of gambling, Ukraine moved closer to regulation’s European gambling market standards. Parimatch received the first official Ukrainian permission for a license for betting activities in Ukraine.

On August 13, the law on the legalization of the gambling market came into force – one of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s promises to the people of Ukraine. After 11 years, the gambling business emerged from the shadows, and the state finally brought the country’s betting industry regulations in line with those of Europe.

Parimatch became the first licensed operator in Ukraine. The license allows the company to legally provide betting services, casinos, and poker, which will generate tax revenues to the state budget. The Ukrainian license became the 5th for the international holding Parimatch.

Restarting the gambling market according to European standards will catalyze the inflow of international investments into the country. Parliamentarians have already stated that in 2021 alone, the budget of Ukraine expects about 255 million euros in revenues from the gambling industry. The state will direct the money received from the sale of licenses to support socially significant areas such as medicine, culture, and sports. The influx of foreign investors also contributes to developing of technologies that will give Ukraine the impetus to compete in the international entertainment market.

“Work still remains to be done on reforming tax legislation before the Ukrainian market becomes attractive to foreign investors. Taxation should be transparent and logical so that it doesn’t create additional obstacles for foreign investors. At this stage, the cost of licenses for various types of gambling activities is so high that, together with taxation, it does not make investments in the nascent Ukrainian market attractive. So Ukraine could lose the competition in terms of investment to other countries. Under favorable legal conditions, specialist market capacity and qualifications will allow Ukraine to become a gaming hub for the Eastern Europe region. Like Malta and Manila, Ukraine now has the potential to become a center of expertise for gambling entertainment.” – Managing Partner of Parimatch Holding Maksym Liashko

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Eastern Europe

Endorphina: Ukraine unlocks its potential in the gambling market

George Miller

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Ukraine unlocks its potential in the gambling market
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

We’ve recently discovered that the official legal gaming market in Ukraine has just been launched! This means that the first license to organize and conduct gambling has been issued.

The law legitimizes all major verticals of the gambling business, including casinos and online casinos, bookmaker activities in bookmakers and online, slot machine halls and online poker. Only a company established under Ukrainian law can obtain a license for each type of activity.

We talked to Kirill Miroshnichenko, the head of Sales department from Endorphina to get some insights about the new situation: “Ukraine can become a new gambling center in the CIS region. With my own estimates, the Ukrainian market can reach the size of the MGA in just a few years. Our partners give us a good vision of the market as well. We always welcome the regulations as it makes business more transparent and more effective in all ways. In addition, we feel quite confident about our games. Our full portfolio of games will definitely fit the taste of Ukrainian players. I wouldn’t be a sales person if I didn’t say: “We are always open for new partnerships!”

The growing potential for the Ukranian market in 2021

Foreign operators who are used to working according to international requirements and standards are interested in the development of the Ukrainian market as well as Endorphina, one of the most successful gaming providers.

With this, Endorphina’s partner in Ukraine Parimatch has received approval to obtain a license to conduct gambling online casino games in Ukraine. This is a great and promising start to further expand Endorphina’s gaming audience.

We’re looking forward to closely following the development of the gambling industry in Ukraine.

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Compliance Updates

Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling

Niji Narayan

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Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling
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Ukraine’s Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy has approved a 10% tax rate for all forms of gambling.

The committee considered bill 2713-d, put forward by committee chair Oleg Marusyak, to complement the Gambling Act that legalised various forms of gambling in Ukraine and was signed into law in August 2020.

This bill initially proposed a 5% GGR tax on bookmaking, 10% for online gambling and for lotteries and 12.5% for slot machines. However, the committee opted for a single rate on all verticals instead.

In addition, gambling winnings of more than eight months’ minimum wage (currently UAH48,000) will be taxed as income.

The country’s Gambling Act had also previously required that online betting and gaming licence fees start out three times higher than normal, and would only be lowered once an online player monitoring system is put in place. However, the new tax bill abolishes that requirement.

The Rada will still have to approve the new tax bill, after which it may be signed into law.

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