Tetjana Teliatitska, co-owner of company “Cupidon” (Cupid), in the gambling business since 1997.
Exactly 12 years have passed since the ban on gaming in Ukraine (May 15, 2009).
How did you survive this period, what did you do?
Since 1998 our company was engaged in after-sale service operations. We had a network of arcades. We also manufactured slot machines and prepared software support for them. After the ban of the gambling business in Ukraine, we not only went on manufacturing slot machines but also started to write software for online casinos under other jurisdictions. We did it particularly for Latin America, the African continent, near-abroad countries.
In your opinion, with the adoption of last year’s law on the legalization of gaming in Ukraine, will the situation improve, are you satisfied with the law as a whole?
In my view, it is very good that the Law has been approved. It was simply necessary to legalize gambling. For in the years when the ban of our activities was in force a shady business was flourishing and it was the time of absolute mess.
But today the Law is imperfect and it will overregulate our business. There are already persons who have bought the licenses for online operation. It is very good but the cost of the licenses for land-based casinos is so high that I think it will be practically impossible to work. Required changes have not been made yet in the Tax Code either.
That’s why I think that the Law as it is now will not be capable to get our trade from a shade.
Have you monitored the gaming businesses in other countries, how the industry has evolved?
All the time we were well acquainted with how the gambling business was developing under other jurisdictions. In the USA, Latin America, European and African countries. And we can compare with those opportunities which have been opened now for this business in Ukraine. Its reincarnation takes place with huge taxes. They might be the highest in the world. It will be difficult for the trade to revive without some preferences.
Do you think the industry is being revived or reborn?
Over the last 12 years, technologies rushed ahead. The gambling business is actively moving into the Internet. Its philosophy is changing and it becomes socially responsible. It is not the same gambling business as it was earlier. Thus I think that it is not reviving now but we become witnesses of its new birth. And this process goes on with great difficulties. There is a lack of investments required by the trade, lack of experts. And I have already said about excessive taxes and their possible negative effects.
Have you already received a license to continue operating?
We did not buy a license and are not going to do it in the nearest future. Because we do not see prospects and we do not understand the rules of play. There a lot of questions and we together with our foreign colleagues fail to find full answers.
But it does not mean that we sit idle. Of course, we are preparing for work in Ukraine. We have already a slot machine developed especially for our market. But as before we go on working for an external market.