Council of Churches sharply criticizes the draft law on promoting gambling and lotteries

02 March, 14:14
State
Council of Churches sharply criticizes the draft law on promoting gambling and lotteries - фото 1
Religious communities of Ukraine of various faiths consider legislative initiative No. 2713-D a cynical attempt to lobby in the interests of gambling owners in Ukraine. This draft law not only deprives the state budget of Ukraine of previously provided revenues but also encourages and throws the yoke of gambling addiction on our fellow citizens by introducing relaxed tax conditions for gambling and lottery organizers.

This is stated in the appeal of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations submitted on March 2, 2021, to the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada and parliamentary factions and groups, the Institute for Religious Freedom reports.

"We are outraged by the legislative initiative (draft law No. 2713-D), which may lead to an even greater spread of dependence on gambling and lotteries among the population of Ukraine, impoverishment and destruction of Ukrainian families due to the harmful consequences of gambling addiction," reads the appeal of the AUCCRO signed by the head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The AUCCRO notes there were serious grounds that gambling has not been banned in Ukraine over the past 11 years because, benefitting from the poverty of a large part of our fellow citizens and the emotional component of the process of playing for money, they took the last savings from many families and threw numerous gamblers into debt pits. It was the high taxation of gambling and lotteries, as a result – minimizing access to them by the general population, that was the key argument of the initiators of the legalization of gambling in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the IX convocation.

Therefore, such inconsistency causes many religious citizens not only bewilderment but also just indignation. The adoption of draft law No. 2713-D will attest to the actual encouragement by the state of citizens to gambling – a morally harmful business that can cause painful and destructive addiction.

The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations calls on the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to reject the draft Law No. 2713-D on amendments to the tax code of Ukraine concerning taxation of income from the organization and conduct of gambling and lotteries as economically impractical and dangerous for the moral health of society.