August 13, 2019 by alex wolf
Former AP president Boris Lozhkin and a number of parliamentarians are running an underground business with Russian intelligence agencies. A civil investigation by WikiInvestigation has established the involvement of the new owner of UNL in the FSB
Gambling in Ukraine has been banned since 2009. The corresponding law was lobbied by the then Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. And although the bright neon signs of the three sevens disappeared from the streets, the slot machine halls continue to work underground to this day, but already under the guise of a national lottery.
In 2014, the Cabinet of Ministers, with the submission of Boris Lozhkin, submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a bill on the legalization of gambling in certain zones in order to replenish the budget by selling licenses for organizing gambling, but the initiative was rejected because it did not gain the required number of votes. To whom it was profitable, it became known literally a year later, when the Ukrainian lottery market underwent a serious redistribution.
Who is behind the monopolization of the lottery market
The lottery market in Ukraine is divided among themselves by three companies: U.N.L. (SuperLoto, Keno, LotoMaksima), M.S.L. (Lotto Zabava, Sportliga, Megalot) and Patriot (more than 2 dozen instant lotteries). After the aggression of Russia, “M.S.L.” and “Patriot” were hit by sub-sanctions, since the ultimate beneficiaries of the companies were supposedly Russians: Alfa Group from M.S. and Russian billionaire Oleg Boyko from Patriot. But if in the case of Patriot the information was confirmed, the involvement of M.S.L. in Alpha-groups turned out to be a myth.
However, at that time, this did not affect the situation at all, and after competitors entered the sanctions lists in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 549/2015, UNL actually turned into a monopolist.
From 2015 to 2018, the company's market share increased from 15 to 70%. Especially successful was the subsidiary of U.N.L. Cosmolot, whose gaming halls were full of bright signs throughout the country. “Cosmolot”, hiding under the license of “U.N. L.”, offers games on classic slots like an online casino, but calls it “instant lottery drawing”.
According to independent experts, the volume of unaccounted proceeds from the activities of the Cosmolot gaming halls reaches several hundred million UAH per year. And this is the lost revenue to the budget, not to mention the hundreds of desperate citizens who lose the last money in machines.