Ukraine Moves Closer to Legalized Gambling

The Ukrainian cabinet has approved gambling draft legislation, making the bill a law. The actual contents of the bill remain a mystery as the information has not been made public. However, based on a recent announcement by the cabinet, the law will allow gambling to become legalized in certain areas, including hotels.

Operators will be able to offer gambling services, if they use the tools and software that has been approved by the new law. Prime Minister Alexei Goncharuk commented in a recent press conference that the gambling law was created due to the influx of illegal slot machines in the country.

Details of the law based on recent reports set a licensing fee at UAH 38 million for businesses to offer services in Kiev. A total of UAH 25 million will be paid for casinos to function in any of the other four cities in the Ukraine that have a minimum population of one million people.

For casinos to operate in smaller populated areas, they will need to pay a lower fee of UAH 12.5 million. A new governing body will be created to oversee the new industry and once created will draft bookmaking fees. The among will be no lower than UAH 750,000. A slot machine license will cost UAH 7.5 million while poker licensing will be lower at UAH 1.3 million.

Gambling related activities have been illegal in the country since 2009 when a fire took place at a slot parlor in Dnipropetrovsk and nine people died. Since 2015, the country has been working on reintroducing and legalizing the industry once again. Efforts have been slow going but this year, the laws have moved forward far more quickly than in previous attempts, finally coming to fruition.

It will still take some time to set up the industry and complete the licensing process, so it is expected that gambling will not be up and running any time soon.

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