Ukraine's gambling commission is in danger of collapse, with its mandate due to expire at the end of October and legal confusion blocking its renewal.
During a roundtable discussion recently held at the press centre of Ukrainian News agency, Boris Baum, the first deputy head of the Advisory and Expert Council of the Gaming Commission of Ukraine, said the national government needs to urgently resolve the issue of appointing the new members of the commission.
"One of the most problematic issues, which can greatly affect the development of the market, is that theoretically at the end of October the commission could stop its operations. The main reason is that the contracts of the commission members are running out. They were appointed for one year," he said.
The Cabinet of Ministers is supposed to have already announced an official open contest for the regulator’s senior positions, but has so far failed to do so.
Sources within the Ukrainian gambling market told VIXIO GamblingCompliance that complications with Ukrainian legislation are behind the delay.
There is a legal conflict in the text of the gambling law, which includes two ways of appointing of the commission members.
Filling the roles is either the responsibility of parliament or the Cabinet of Ministers — both options appear to be called for within the law with equal prominence.
It is hoped that the confusion will be fixed by politicians in September, unambiguously assigning responsibility to the Cabinet of Ministers.
The current set of executives at the Gaming Commission were appointed in an "extreme" mode, ignoring the uncertainty in the Gambling Act for just one year, which ends in October, to allow the market to launch.
The Ukrainian Cabinet is not rushing to launch the contest for the new board before it is clearly confirmed in law that it has the right to make such decisions, over fears that its chosen regulators or the actions taken by newly elected commission members will be challenged in court.
The current board of the gambling commission is already mired in controversy, after deputy chairman Evgeniy Getman was arrested in August on suspicion of taking a $90,000 bribe.
Getman was released on bail in late August.