Future of Gambling in Ukraine Widens in Scope

The Ukrainian government’s plan for the legalization of gambling is wider in scope than previously reported.

A leaked draft of the legislation that was recently approved by the Cabinet of Ministers includes plans to legalize poker, casino games, and sports betting - both land-based and online. Previously, only plans to legalize casinos in five-star hotels had been public knowledge.

The government’s plan also includes the creation of a six-person regulatory body that will answer to the Cabinet of Ministers.

The government will issue no more than 80 licenses. Licensees are limited to 10 betting points, capping the total retail betting points in the country at 800. 32 of the available licenses will be reserved for operators based in Kyiv. The total number of betting points in any city is limited to 40.

The fee for a casino license will be UAH 25 million, and bookmaking licenses will cost a minimum of UAH 750,000, with a license for a slot machine hall costing UAH 7.5 million and one for a poker room costing UAH 1.3 million. The proposed legalization does not specify differences between licenses for online and offline betting. The plan does not yet include details of a taxation scheme.

The government hopes that the legalization of gambling will increase tax revenues by UAH 2.5 billion ($103.5 million).

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