Ukraine is a picturesque country located in Eastern Europe bordered with Hungry, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Belarus, Moldova, and Russia. Ukraine is home to over 41 million people as estimated in April of 2020. When it comes to the country’s gambling industry, it was almost non-existent between 2009 and 2020 as gambling was illegal within the country’s borders after the Ukrainian Parliament outlawed such activities in May of 2009.
The move came shortly after a massive gambling hall located in Dnipropetrovsk caught fire and subsequently claimed the lives of nine people. That same month, the Parliament passed the On Prohibition of Gambling Business law which consequently banned casino operators, gambling businesses, and other related entities. The law came into force on the 23rd of June.
It is worth mentioning that the Ukrainian Law On Prohibition of Gambling Businesses also applied to online casino venues only excluding lotteries. After over ten years, the parliament finally legalized certain gambling activities in the country on the 14th of July. As reported by several local news outlets including the iGamingBusiness.com domain, Parliamentarians in the country approved a measure that will see the Eastern European country legalize an array of gambling activities including activities that relate to mobile and online casinos.
Legalized Gambling Activities in Ukraine
According to reports released by prominent news outlets and other reliable sources, the 2285-D which legalizes a wide range of gambling activities in the country was passed through the four hundred and twenty-four-seat parliament by a voting range of two hundred and forty-eight to ninety-five. For the legislation to come into force, it has to be approved by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
As mentioned at the beginning, online casino gambling, as well as land-based casino gambling activities in the country, are prohibited at the moment following the 2009 Law On Prohibition of Gambling Businesses law. However, the country’s forty-two-year-old President will most likely give his consent on the passed legislation which will see this Eastern European country legalize both online and land-based gambling activities.
As reported, the President’s consent would see legalized gambling activities in the country within upmarket hotels. However, such venues would have to invest around $4.5 million for licensing fees to offer such activities within their facilities. This fee related to facilities located in the country’s capital of Kyiv while facilities located in other cities will have to pay around $2.6 million.
The same sources reported that the President’s consent on the newly passed legislation would also see many prominent online casino gaming operators allowed to offer their services after they obtain five-year licenses worth around $1.1 million. The licensing rate for online bookies will probably stand at around $2.6 million.
Establishing a Gambling Commission
It was also reported by several local news outlets that the newest version of the 2285-D legislation which permits a wide range of online, mobile and land-based gambling activities which will be presented to the President would also cover who would be allowed to operate and own land-based gambling venues and who would be allowed to offer gambling activities within their venues. At the same time, the legislation also prohibits from individuals residing in aggressor or occupying states to offer such services in Ukraine.
If the President approves the newly proposed legislation, the Ukrainian government will establish a gambling regulatory body that will oversee gambling operations and gambling operators offering their services in the country. The same commission will also set tax laws, alongside safety and protection protocols.