Chief of Ukraine’s scandal-plagued gambling agency chief opposes its dissolution
Ivan Rudyi, the head of the commission for regulation of gambling and lotteries. Photo via Facebook

The chairman of the commission for regulation of gambling and lotteries, also known as KRAIL, has opposed the parliament’s plans to dissolve the body and automate the issuing of gambling licences.

In a statement, Ivan Rudyi said that he "didn't understand what this story was about, what the ultimate efficiency was".

"After reviewing the main provisions, I saw that the proposed changes are essentially the existing legislation. I didn't understand what we were changing for what," the head of the KRAIL added.

Mr Rudyi said that the draft law would in effect only change the principle of management from collegiality to sole decision-making, which "may lead to negative consequences."

Per the current law, the gambling body may adopt decisions only if five of its members take part in the meeting, otherwise its work is stalled and "the principle of continuity of the central executive body is actually violated," the authors of the draft law say in an explanatory note.

Mr Rudyi believes there are only two unresolved issues with the body, namely the launch of the state online monitoring system and a clear tax law, which could be resolved by appointing one or two KRAIL members and adopting an already existing bill.

"In fact, there are no other problems, because the body is working, the reform is working," he stressed.

"Over the past year, the commission has fulfilled the plan set in peacetime by 99 percent. I don't understand what the final efficiency is and what problem we are solving."

Earlier this year, Ukraine’s gambling business was at the centre of a high-profile scandal due to illegal schemes used by market participants.

After the market was cleaned up, the volume of legal transactions, according to Danylo Hetmantsev, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Tax Committee, increased 3.5 times in a month, to UAH 10 billion.

According to Yaroslav Zhelezniak, an MP and member of the parliamentary investigative commission on the gambling market, the gambling business paid UAH 452 million in taxes in April.

"This is much better than it was, but given the NBU data on the volume of the illegal market, it is not enough. We'll figure it out," Mr Zhelezniak posted on Telegram.