On the Latest Updates on the Ukrainian Gambling Market, Industry Regulation and the Future of the Sphere: Results of UGW conference

On February 24, Smile-Expo successfully held a unique event for the gambling industry – UGW conference. The event took place prior to the major Ukrainian Gaming Week 2021 industry exhibition and became a perfect platform for learning all the intricacies of doing business in the country's reviving gambling sphere.

The speakers of the event included 15 recognized experts. Among them were gambling industry reformers, experienced lawyers, heads of specialized associations and foreign gambling specialists. They analyzed the key requirements of gambling legislation, considered issues related to taxation of operators' income, and gave practical advice on the successful launch and promotion of business in Ukraine.

UGW featured the most comfortable conditions for guests and participants to exchange experiences and discuss prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation. In the networking areas, visitors made new business contacts, agreed on further meetings and shared the latest industry insights. Thus, everyone who attended the event had a unique chance to personally meet representatives of companies that would join Ukrainian Gaming Week 2021 as exhibitors or sponsors on March 23-24.

Simultaneous interpretation of speakers' presentations was organized specially for foreign guests. Due to the absence of language barriers, visitors who came to the event from abroad were able to figure out how to enter the newly launched gambling market taking into account the current regulatory rules.

About speakers and their reports: what topics were covered at the conference?

The event was moderated by Konstantin Karpalov, co-founder of Papa Karlo CPA network.

The conference was opened by Borys Baum, a freelance Advisor to the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine. During the Q&A session, he answered questions from guests.

The expert discussed topics related to the licensing procedure for gambling activities, certification of equipment and taxation of the gambling business. He also spoke about the work of the gambling regulator and plans to combat illegal online casinos.

Tetiana Klymenko, Head of legal department at Law&Trust International analyzed the restrictions in different countries related to advertising gambling. The lawyer examined the nuances of promoting gambling activities in Europe and explained what bans are currently established in Ukraine. She reviewed the scope of EGBA Code that contains general rules for the EU countries for responsible advertising of gambling on the Internet. In addition, Tetiana gave examples of violations with operators fined for non-compliance with the established requirements.

Earle G. Hall, Vice Chair at International Gaming Standards Association spoke about the impact of Big Data on compliance and legality. The speaker gave examples of big data use in different countries and explained how they can be used to achieve different goals: ensuring responsible gaming, combating money laundering, etc. In addition, he clarified what benefits operators can get from the introduction of innovative technologies into their work.

Talentgrator CEO Maryna Zapolska dedicated her speech to aspects related to searching for personnel in the gambling industry. She highlighted what problems employers may face on the stages of team formation, when searching and selecting personnel, as well as making a job offer. Maryna clarified how to hire employees in the iGaming industry, and gave practical advice on attracting qualified specialists to the company.

Jakub Kolomičenko, Head of Legal department at Endorphina Ltd spoke about the importance of adhering to the principles of responsible gambling. The speaker analyzed the experience of European countries that introduce various restrictions in order to ensure a responsible gaming policy, e.g. set spending limits or prohibit advertising. In addition, Jakub clarified what negative consequences may arise in case gambling business owners fail in following the responsible gaming rules.

Alex Kornilov, CEO at BETEGY spoke about the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in the sports betting industry. He listed the tasks that operators can solve using AI and ML technologies, including establishing creatives, generating personalized offers for gamblers, tracking and predicting player actions.

The topic “Current status of gambling licensing process” was revealed by Artem Kuzmenko – Partner at Eterna Law. He analyzed the most common mistakes related to submitting documents for obtaining a gambling license. The expert analyzed the problematic aspects of the law on the regulation of gambling activities and clarified which equipment is subject to certification and who can act as a direct subject of certification.

What were discussed at the panel discussions?

The first panel discussion focused on issues related to unshadowing of the gambling market, business taxation and equipment certification.

During the discussion, the audience learned the expert opinion of such specialists as:

  • Marian Zablotskyi – People's Deputy of Ukraine from the Servant of the People faction.

  • Iryna Sergienko – President of the Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association.

  • Ihor Makiievskyi – Chairman at the All-Ukrainian Association of Employers in the Recreation and Entertainment Sector.

  • Tamara Golubchik – Director of the Ukrainian Gaming Business Association.

The participants explained how gambling operators work in the modern market realities and voiced the best size of the tax rate on gross gambling income (GGR) in their opinion. In addition, the experts discussed the need to abolish the tax on winnings and proposed solutions to problems associated with the work of illegal operators and the issuance of certificates confirming the compliance of equipment with technical regulations.

The second discussion was dedicated to the peculiarities of gambling business development in the online segment of the market.

Discussions participants included:

  • Ilya Machavariani – Senior Partner at 4H agency.

  • Artem Kuzmenko – Partner at Eterna Law firm.

  • Oleksiy Yevchenko – Vice President of the Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association.

  • Alina Plyushch – co-founder and board member of the Ukrainian Gaming Industry Association.

Oleh Derlyuk, Managing Partner at Stron Legal Services, has been a moderator of the activity.

Experts listed the problems that operators can face when conducting business online. In particular, they drew attention to the fact that business owners should register domain names and trademarks as soon as possible in order to avoid situations when the desired names are already occupied by others.

According to Alina Plyushch, foreign companies are currently showing interest to the Ukrainian gambling market. However, they are in no hurry to join as it is still unclear how the issues related to taxation and certification of equipment will be resolved. Artem Kuzmenko, in turn, stressed that in the future the country's gambling market will change, and currently it is the best time to master it.

Event sponsors

  • Lanyard Sponsor – BetConstruct, a provider of gaming and betting software, tools and other solutions for business owners offering online and offline services.

  • Exclusive Sponsor – IGT, a multinational company engaged in the production of equipment for land-based casinos, development of software solutions, services and systems for online business.

  • Sponsor of Bracelets – Alpha Affiliates, an affiliate program focused on foreign markets and promoting offers in the gambling and betting niche.

  • Exclusive sponsor – APEX, a developer and supplier of slot machines, mobile and electronic games and other integrated solutions for the gambling industry.

  • Badge Sponsor – Digitain, a software provider that delivers reliable platforms for different participants of the gambling market: betting operators, online casinos and land-based establishments.

  • HR Sponsor – Talentgrator, a recruiting company specializing in the search and selection of personnel in the gambling industry. Helps companies find talents, and assists job seekers to find a worthy place of work.

  • Press Zone Sponsor – Slots City, a gambling operator, one of the first three companies to obtain a Ukrainian license to conduct gambling activities.

Thank you for participating in the conference! We are happy to invite you to the main gambling event in Ukraine!

The organizer of UGW conference – Smile-Expo international company expresses its deep gratitude to sponsors of the event that provided significant support in holding of the industry event.

Also, the team of organizers would like to thank the speakers, exhibitors and guests who joined the event and showed a high interest in the Ukrainian gambling market that is beginning to actively develop in the legal field.

We are waiting for you on March 23-24 at KyivExpoPlaza at the country's main gambling event – Ukrainian Gaming Week 2021 that will bring together the best companies in the industry and leaders of the Ukrainian gambling community.

Guests of the event will be able to discover advanced products for the gambling industry, consult with representatives of the global gambling market, discuss prospects for cooperation and agree on the implementation of joint projects.

Read more about the program, exhibitors and sponsors of the event here >>>