The Supreme Council of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) has held a voting last week, resulting in a victorious 248-95 at the second reading in favor of regulating gambling in the country. All gambling activities became illegal in Ukraine in 2009, and efforts have been made to legalize it again since 2015. Online and land-based gambling will be legal following this new bill, while casinos will be allowed to operate within hotel premises.
Online gambling licenses will cost around $1.1m, with a five year validity period. For bookmakers, a license will cost approximately $2.6m, and casino license fees are set at $4.5m within Kyiv and $2.6m elsewhere. Verkhovna Rada is also expected to pass an act to set the taxation of the gambling industry. The bill at a certain point states that operators and slot machine suppliers “must not be controlled by residents of an occupying state and/or the aggressor state in relation to Ukraine”; with Russia quite clearly being portrayed here, as can be found in other parts of Ukrainian legislation. The clause however only seems to apply to suppliers of land-based slots.
The bill, finally, just needs to be signed by President Volodymyr Zelensky in order to come into effect, which should be typical, taking into consideration his efforts towards regulating the gambling market in the past.