The Finance Committee of the Ukraine Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) has approved Bill-2285D to be forwarded for second reading.
Committee leader Andrei Motovilovets announced on Thursday that the Committee ‘unanimously supports the formation of a new market’ and approved second readings for the initiative of the SoP Party’s ‘Gambling Law.’
The approval see Rada updating its parliamentary schedule from 16-19 June to host a dedicated readings session on final provisions. SoP maintained the statutory timeline for adopting the Gaming Law before the end of 2020.
Despite the approval, members of the RADA questioned the review of Bill-2285D by the Finance Committee, after a reported 21 delegates approved the second reading mandate without disclosing any information on amendments.
The VOICE party’s MP, Yaroslav Zheleznyak, decried that the Finance Committee had forwarded Gambling Law readings on SoP ‘s behest, but would not be able to collect 150 signatures to advance the legislation.
In May, despite President Volodymyr Zelensky ordering a cabinet reshuffle having fallen out with powerful First Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, the Rada Finance Committee permitted SoP to quick-track readings of the ‘Gambling Law.’
SoP critics believe the Zelensky government has managed to advance its gambling bill without providing any transparency on key elements that will dictate the marketplace.
Of worry, SoP has yet to shed any light on how it can manage the relationship between the state and dominant lottery monopolies Patriot, MSL and UNL who have sought first concession privileges to increase their portfolios.
Meanwhile, industry observers questioned SoP ‘s legislative approach in sanctioning a high-cost gambling services licencing system in which incumbents will be further burdened with double-digit GGR percent tax rates across all vertical gambling.
Further criticism was also aimed at SoP MPs for failing to implement existing gambling industry rules laid down by European jurisdictions such as the UK, Sweden and France.
If second readings lead, creditors will also doubt the country’s capacity to introduce its ambitious gambling system by 2021.