Active players: 6.500.000
Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH)
Regulated gambling products: Online bookmakers and casinos
Designated authority: Commission on the regulation of gambling and lotteries (KRAIL)
Operator types: Licensed online bookmaker & casinos, unlicensed online bookies & casinos
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe, being formerly part of the USSR. It has encountered internal turbulence and has recently been trying to stabilize its economy. As regards sports, locals love football, boxing and MMA. From a gambling perspective; all activities were entirely prohibited following a tragic fire in a Kyiv gambling hall in 2009. Turbulent times seem to be left in the past and a new betting bill is already in place. Just in March 2021, the local gambling authority issued the first online gambling license. Given this void of domestic operators; players rely on international bookmakers that accept Ukrainians. So, if you’re on the lookout for betting sites in Ukraine, be reminded that the top international brands are available for local bettors.
Ukraine gambling - 5 things to know
- A new gambling bill has been active since July 2020
- A previous draft bill was denied by the parliament in December 2019
- The legal gambling age in Ukraine is 21
- A 5-year bookmaker license costs around €5 million
- Parimatch is the first online operator to obtain a license
Best betting sites in Ukraine
We selected the top betting sites in Ukraine by narrowing down the choice to the ones that offer 100+ markets on Ukrainian Premier League matches, good coverage of contact sports and transactions in hryvnia.
Gambling Ukraine: The legal framework
Right after Ukraine achieved independence from the USSR; all gambling forms became legal in the country. Things continued that way until 2003, when the first law towards gambling in Ukraine was enacted. That law focused more on bingo, casino games and horse racing. However, several betting shops were already actively offering their services. Then in 2009, the government passed the law on the Prohibition of Gambling Business in the country; after a tragic incident took place in a gambling hall in Kyiv where 9 people died. With all forms of gambling being prohibited, a massive black market emerged in the following years.
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s election in May 2019 was the first step towards the complete regulation of Ukraine gambling. He introduced the bill 2285-D, which was approved in its first reading in January 2020 and eventually came into force on July 14, 2020. A clear system has been put in place; with 5-year valid licenses up for grabs by any interested company. Well, any except for the Russian ones, which are not eligible to obtain one. Land-based bookmakers may also operate; with each licensee having the option to open up to 10 betting shops.
Concerning casinos; they need to operate within 4 or 5 star hotels and pay a license fee of $1-2 million, depending on the hotel’s rooms capacity. Online casinos and bookmakers need to pay approximately $1 million annually and renew their license every 5 years. As for taxation; a flat 10% tax on the operators’ GGR was finally agreed upon. Plus, a 18% corporate tax; which however applies to all Ukrainian businesses.
It is very important to keep in mind that, according to the latest amendments, what players win from gambling in Ukraine is exempt from both personal income and military tax. These taxes used to apply over a specific amount of winnings; but don't do so anymore. Parimatch Ukraine is the first online bookmaker that has received a local license.
The thing is that betting sites in Ukraine have just started acquiring licenses. Naturally, many operators are weighing their options towards this new emerging market. Authorities have been reportedly blocking access to some bookies, without however publicly announcing which. There are no reports of players’ prosecutions, with the state seemingly focusing on the land-based application of the law.
With no local payments available for gambling; Ukrainian players usually turn to international payment options like Skrill, Neteller or EcoPayz for topping up their accounts. Bear in mind that e-wallets, in particular, are the most predominant payment options for online betting. They deliver fast transactions, along with reliability and allow you to bet under the radar, where needed. Particularly betting in Ukraine should better be practiced accordingly.
Using your credit cards or bank account to move money to and from your banking account is still not the best thing to do. At least not on online bookies who have not yet got a local license. For the time being, just stick to the aforementioned e-wallets and enjoy your bet Ukraine worry-free.
The 11-year ban on gambling in Ukraine left a considerable dent on the country’s online and offline betting markets. Nevertheless, the recent push from President Volodymyr Zelensky and the government, along with the establishment of the bill 2285-D, are very good signs. So, under the new law framework, bettors have started getting more freedom of choice. The state will also start benefiting from the taxation of the regulated market. Therefore, with more licensees adding up soon; Ukraine gambling is posing as an example for neighboring countries and beyond.
Complete list of Ukrainian bookmakers
After analyzing the current online gambling scene; we now list all the international bookmakers that accept Ukrainian players. Bear in mind that all of them are legitimate and safe online bookies.
When it comes to bookmakers that have a Ukrainian interface, 1xBet, Melbet and Marathonbet are some great examples. Furthermore, the same bookies, along with Parimatch and Vbet, offer the option to bet using UAH; so, you don’t have to worry about currency exchange fees.
As of 14 July 2020, all forms of gambling are legal and regulated in Ukraine. This includes online betting, where you can bet on licensed bookmakers. Access to international bookies that have not yet been locally licensed, might in some cases be restricted, yet it’s not illegal.
The latest amendments on the country’s gaming law, finally allowed the removal of both taxes that used to apply on gambling winnings. As it stands, all you win is yours and no taxation shall apply to it.
A regulated and safe online betting environment awaits players here. Parimatch Ukraine was the first bookmaker to get a license and others are soon expected to follow. Apart from that, all bookies you will find in our analysis, are renowned, legitimate and safe.
Just like many other top-quality online bookies, Betfair is available for local bettors. No matter if you are after the bookmaker or betting exchange experience, Betfair delivers top services in the country.