SiGMA Roadshow Ukraine: first virtual stop reaches 2.5k delegates
The SiGMA Virtual Roadshow will reflect SiGMA’s global events opening in 5 major regions over the next few years, specifically Europe, the CIS region, Asia, the Americas, and Africa. Here are some highlights from the expert panels on SiGMA Virtual roadshow – Ukraine
Along with great speakers, the SiGMA Virtual Roadshow – Ukraine, welcomed over 2,500 delegate registrations and over 1,500 conference views. There were also over 75 exhibitors and the number of total booth entries hit close to a 6k mark.
This virtual roadshow was offered in 2 languages, namely Russian and English. This was a well-received gesture by the CIS community which reflected a growing necessity for gaming operations to be localised in Ukraine, in order to increase user trust and accessibility.
Eman Pulis, CEO of SiGMA group opens the summit with a brief introduction to our viewers highlighting the fact that despite the health crisis, events can still find success.
Given the pandemic, SiGMA Group decided to rebrand the roadshow into two/three hour sessions every month.
To kick off these events it was most pertinent to inaugurate the summit in Ukraine. There is so much happening in Ukraine at the moment, with the government issuing the first licences, “activity is brimming for casinos and sports betting.”
I look forward to welcome you to the very first edition of the SiGMA virtual roadshow.
The first interview, The road to regulation, was lead by policy experts who brought their industry experience into the debate.
Boris Baum, an advisor to the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine and Heathcliff Farrugia, former CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority discussed various aspects of regulating the gambling sector.
An interesting take from this panel discussion is Boris Baum’s message:
Although Ukraine is now transforming and changing, with this law we hope to change the perception of Ukraine and how the government treats businesses a little bit.
We want to be open and transparent – so these limitations which have a duel meaning, will never be used against business. Whatever is questionable or doubtful will always be decided in favor of the operator.
In the next interview, Denis Dzyubenko, CIS Director for SiGMA Group, invited Pavel Vaisero, who’s worked as a Former CMO at MSL lotteries in Ukraine for 7 to 8 years to share his extensive knowledge.
Vaisero says that with the adoption of the law it will be clear what the lottery market will look like. At the moment lottery licensing conditions are still under consideration therefore the implementation of the law has not influenced lottery operators in any way.
Two individuals who are both indisputably central to Ukraine’s gaming industry and its progress, gave keynote speeches during the virtual roadshow.
These were Yvan Rudiy, CEO of the Ukrainian Gambling Commission and Oleh Udovenko, Vice President of the Ukrainian Sport Poker Federation.
The highly anticipated opening speech with Yvan Rudiy laid the ground-breaking changes in Ukraine following the newly implemented regulations.
For us, legalising gaming, does not only mean economic stability but also ensures the protection of Ukraine’s citizens.
He goes on to say that Ukraine can easily create a transparent legal market like other European countries which legalised gambling. As CEO of the UGC, Yvan spearheaded the effort to get the job done, and the excitement for the future is a testament to the stellar work done.
Another keynote speech covering a different sector in Ukraine’s gambling industry, was given with a focus on poker. Oleh Udovenko, Vice President of the Ukrainian Sport Poker Federation, gave viewers the rundown on the current state of poker in the region.
It has been a difficult year for land-based table games, but the newly implemented framework hopes to give poker a new breath of life.
We really hope that with the legalisation of the gambling business and with the opportunity to obtain licences for online poker, leading market players – such as Poker Stars or Party Poker, and 888 Poker, will come to us.
Regulation round table with a focus on the online gambling licence was definitely a standout panel discussing three main points including taxes, advertising and certification and joining the discussion, were all representatives of the Advisory Expert Council at the Gaming Commission.
When it comes to taxes, Baum stated that the volume of the gambling market in Ukraine is quite significant and, arouses the appetite of operators, despite the current taxation.
With the topic of advertising in discussion, Plyushch suggests imposing fines showing how serious the commission is when it comes to illegal advertising. Kuzmenko agreed with Plyushch on this stating that
The commission has all the tools for this and in the future aims to tighten advertising rules, since today there are few restrictions on online ads.
This panel was later on followed by one focused merely on the land-based industry and tourism. What stood out from this discussion was the fact that land-based gambling and entertainment venues will be moving forward with their big plans as well.
Although, Iryna Belova, Former Head of Gambling at Ex-Premier Palace Casino highlighted that the development of offline casinos, depends primarily on the welfare of society and the country and in time of the global crisis, this will surely be difficult.
I think that operators who enter this market already have extensive experience in creating these projects and the new operators will listen to them. We are always glad to meet our guests, our doors are always open for you.
The last panel that took place during the virtual roadshow was Sports betting. This panel discussed the specifics of sports betting in the Ukranian market, including the opportunities and challenges that might also arise. Two bookmakers are currently dominating the sports betting scene in Ukraine.
Anton Kuchukhidze, Head Public Gambling Association of Ukraine states that: As for the development of bookmaking, we can say that in any case, bookmakers in Ukraine will continue to occupy very strong positions
In conclusion, once the issue of tax is sorted, and it will be soon, the market will take off and Ukraine may experience an influx of bookmakers to their market.
We thank all the viewers who tuned in to watch the event and hope to see you soon for the coming Roadshow, which will focus on Las Vegas taking place on the 7th April. See agenda here, and until then, stay tuned!