In the context of possible gambling business legalization in Ukraine, in September Kiev will host Ukrainian Gaming Congress. Yana Pastushko, Director of gaming exhibitions at Smile-Expo, company organizing the event, spoke about the goals, key benefits and expectations from the event, and explained what benefits industry legalization may result in.
- Legislative framework of gambling business in Ukraine is at reloading stage now. The draft law which is capable of regulating this area is now routing for approval of top echelons of power, but Ukrainian Gambling Congress will be held just in a month. Is demand outgrowing the supply?
- Our key advantage is that for many years in this business, we have held a number of gaming exhibitions and congresses (RGW, Social & Mobile Gambling Conference, Crimea Gaming Congress, Georgia Gaming Congress, Betting Awards, Kazakhstan Gaming Congress, Belarus Gaming Congress) and of course we understand market demand in holding such event in Kiev. I have more than once said that Smile-Expo is one step ahead. It is where momentum into development is necessary, or where changes or new conditions for the "game" are brewing. No sooner we have launched the website than we have received great number of questions and requests. And, what is most pleasant, they were mostly from abroad.
- What is the main purpose of the event? There are quite a lot of fans of gambling and betting in Ukraine, but what about business segment?
- Our main goal as Ukrainian Gaming Congress - to bring together all gaming business participants, and to discuss the prospects and ways of reviving industry in the country. Together government officials, investors, bookmakers, representatives of tourism industry, foreign casinos, lawyers and experts will be able to provide each other with answers to pressing questions, will have a chance to discuss all the details and make a decision, we hope.
It is important that officials of all ranks understand that gaming business (and more specifically - its legalization) can attract serious investors and their capital to the country. If we consider the issue in this view, benefits from gaming business is obvious.
I'm sure that Ukrainian Gaming Congress is a platform where everyone will have the opportunity to discuss all interesting questions with key industry representatives and at the time of entry into force of the relevant law to be in the leading roles.
- Who are you planning to invite as speakers to the event, and what, in fact, will be discussed?
- Of course, we strive to cover the entire market, discuss the problems and to be as prepared for business legalization as it is ever possible. Therefore, speakers will be key people.
To be more exact, at Ukrainian Gaming Congress one will have an opportunity to listen to opinions of Ukrainian officials, lawyers, representatives of foreign businesses, heads of associations and organizations related to gaming business. Of course, we will invite experts - both local and world-renowned. In the meantime, it is too early to lay cards on the table.
To see the program of events and issues that we will discuss at the congress, please visit official website of Ukrainian Gaming Congress.
- Poker is often equated to gambling, while this card game is called sport. So where is the middle ground and will this topic be separately discussed?
- We have not planned it for now, but the program is still under development. To be honest, we will pay more attention to the issue of legalizing online gambling activities (which, incidentally, will be for the first time discussed at such level), and in the framework of this question we will discuss poker.
- Calendar of events implies that Kiev will host another conference on the same topic. What are the major differences, and what are your key advantages?
- The main difference is that the topic is not analogous. And if taking specifically, we are creating a platform where in terms of open dialogue and tips from foreign organizations, foundation for market entry of business man in the event of gaming market legalization will be laid. We shall not cover long term and political plans, but with the help of our speakers and participants will try to give advice to the market on how to prepare for 2016, which is perceived as a period of active and open work.
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