Lawful gambling in Ukraine: legislation, rules, facts

Publication date: 19 Feb 2021

Ukraine is rapidly breaking into the world of gambling. The adoption of the new law and the issuance of the first licenses put Ukraine on a par with other legal jurisdictions. Now foreign investors and operators can view this state as a new bright spot for starting a business.

What is happening with the legalization of gambling in Ukraine?

The ban on the gambling industry had been in effect in Ukraine for 11 years. On July 14, 2020, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the draft law on state regulation of gambling activities. On August 11, President Vladimir Zelensky approved Law No. 2285-d, thereby legalizing gambling in Ukraine. The new law regulates the activities of bookmakers and sweepstakes, land-based and online casinos, online poker, slot machines, the production and organization of lotteries. The legalization of gambling allows you to conduct any form of gambling in the legal field and direct part of the income to the state budget of the country. In November 2020, the Gambling Regulatory Commission was established. This department consists of a head and six members. Ivan Rudny has been assigned a chief. The Commission is responsible for licensing of gambling operators, certification of gambling equipment and fining for non-compliance with the rules. As for changes in tax legislation, this is an important question as it concerns effectiveness and profitability.

In December 2020, a new professional gambling association was founded in Ukraine. The organization’s main objective is to create a positive image of the legal gambling business, raise awareness about the industry in society and actively cooperate with state authorities. Among the first participants of the Gambling Association of Ukraine (GAU) are industry experts, media representatives, political scientists and lawyers. In January 2021, a new bill appeared, according to which a special fund will be established budgeting is going to be based on money that comes from gambling. So, accredited gambling licensees are supposed to contribute to medicine, education, culture and science, sport. The fund will be monetized exclusively by license fees from casino providers, sports betting and lotteries.

Who gained the first licenses to work in Ukraine?

On February 3, 2021, the first gambling license was issued. TRAIL fourth attempt was allowed to run “SPACEX” – first legal online casino company in Ukraine. According to information of the State Register of certificates of Ukraine on marks for goods and services, LLC “SPACEX” owns the trademark “KOSMOLOT”. On February 11, a decision was made to license another gambling operator. A major international provider, Parimatch, will now be able to operate on the market. Later, the international gambling developer and provider “Geymdev” received a license to organize and conduct casinos on the Internet.

  • On February 24, the Ukrainian Gaming Week conference will be held. Experts will analyze the main provisions of the law on the regulation of gambling activities in Ukraine, talk about the requirements for advertising gambling establishments and discuss the prospects for the development of the industry.
  • On March 3, the SiGMA virtual roadshow starts. The virtual show will focus on the details of regulation, taxation and compliance, as well as emerging technologies in the region.

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