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Daily News: Optibet Enlabs leaves Sweden and more

The major gambling operator Optibet Enlabs gave up voluntarily the Swedish license.

In March 2020, the operator received a license from the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen again, after it has been revoked in 2019 due to a number of serious deficiencies in the safe gaming provision being revealed.

However, it has now become known that Optibet Enlabs which owns the Optibet, Bestpoker and Laimz brands has suspended voluntarily the recently renewed license until the summer of 2021. Thus, all brands of the operator will not operate in Sweden until the middle of this year.

According to the company director, this is due to the fact that currently the platform does not support the Pay&Play function. This feature allows players to make a deposit instantly, without registration.

EU goes against illegal gambling

Many European gambling associations (including the European Casino Association (ECA), European Lotteries (EL) and the World Sweepstakes Association) have joined their efforts to fight illegal gambling and lobby for the European Commission's Digital Services Act.

It is argued that a law which is aimed at strengthening control over players and gambling operators will have a great impact on eradicating illegal gambling in the single European market.

On 4 January, the Digital Services Act approved by the European Association for Gambling and Betting, was submitted to the European Parliament for approval.

The expert named the highest priority issue of the gambling business in Ukraine in 2021

At his first press conference in the new year, the head of the Ukrainian Gambling Association Anton Kuchukhidze named the top-priority tasks of the government in launching a gambling business. In particular, according to the expert, the adoption of amendments to the Tax Code should become for parliamentarians the most priority area of work.

Kuchukhidze restated that inverters and potential operators of the Ukrainian gambling market were not able to spell out clearly their development strategy in this jurisdiction and calculate all costs without clear tax rules. This circumstance only slows down the launch of this industry, because “the investor begins to play a waiting game, not invest.”

The expert also noted that the overwhelming majority of Western investors have two main complaints about Ukraine — serious and progressive problems of corruption and incomparably high taxes. Kuchukhidze believes that there are no problems of corruption on the Ukrainian gambling market, but the issue of taxation is still out of sight of the deputies.

According to the functionary, the Verkhovna Rada should close the fiscal issue in the gambling business in the first session week of the new year. To do this, the bill 2713-d should be adopted. Kuchukhidze suggests registering in this document the most effective formula for Ukraine's tax rates for operators of the gambling industry. It is based on the cancellation of the 18% tax on the player's winnings, as well as the postponement of industry’s taxation until January 1, 2024.

The head of the Gambling Association of Ukraine believes that this model will attract leading gambling operators to Ukraine, protect players from unfair competition and increase budget revenues by selling more licenses. Kuchukhidze believes that any opposition and procrastination of the issue of amendments to the tax legislation will affect the image of Ukraine negatively.