Ukraine legalizes gambling (in second reading)

In July 14, 2020, in the second reading, the Verkhovna Rada voted for a bill that legalizes gambling in the country. If the president signs it, companies will buy licenses from the state to work in this market. According to the authors of the bill, it will bring the budget up to ₴4 billion per year.

The final version with all the amendments of people’s deputies is not yet available on the website of the Parliament. The June edition of the bill proposed such regulations:

  • The allowed activities include casinos, online casinos, betting shops, slot machines, lotteries, and online poker. Businesses must obtain a license to conduct such activities.
  • Lotteries, sports poker, billiards, and bowling are not considered gambling.
  • Casinos can be placed in specific locations: five-star hotels with at least 100 rooms (150 for Kyiv), suburban complexes with an area of at least 10,000 square meters, or special gambling zones.
  • Betting shops can be located in three- to five-star hotels with at least 25 rooms (50 for Kyiv) and on racetracks.
  • Licenses are issued for five years. Prices for licenses depend on the size of the minimum wage. According to the text for the second reading, for example, the price of the license for online casinos is 6,500 minimum wages for 5 years (about ₴30.7 million for 5 years, or slightly more than ₴6 million per year).
  • There is an online record of market operators kept in the country: it is a state-maintained system that all licensed companies must be connected to.
  • Players in such places must be identified: in particular, citizens under the age of 18 must not be allowed to gamble (in the previous version, this restriction was applied to 21 years old persons). There is a register of persons who are restricted access to such establishments.

Details of the June edition of the bill you can read in our previous peace.