Casinos To Start Operating In Ukraine

Casinos To Start Operating In Ukraine


President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a law on the legalization of the gambling business. Now casinos, slot machines and bookmakers can operate in Ukraine. The casino can only be placed in hotels with four or five stars.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed the bill No. 2285-d “On state regulation of activities for the organization and conduct of gambling” adopted by the Verkhovna Rada. This was reported on August 11 on the website of the Verkhovna Rada.

The bill has been in development since the end of 2019. In mid-July, the Rada adopted it in the second reading. As reported, the Verkhovna Rada on July 14 supported the bill # 2285-d in the second reading and in total with 248 votes. On July 27, it was signed by the speaker, and the next day it was sent for signature to the head of state. In the first reading, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the bill on January 16, in the second reading the consideration of the bill began on June 30. People’s deputies submitted 3.5 thousand amendments.

The law makes it possible to open casinos, slot machine halls, bookmakers, including those on the Internet, on the territory of Ukraine, as well as to organize sites for online poker.

The law establishes a list of activities types in the field of gambling that are allowed in Ukraine. In particular, it includes gambling in casino and online gambling establishments, bookmaker activities in bookmaker offices and via the Internet, issuing and conducting lotteries, and playing poker over the Internet.

At the same time, in Kiev, casinos can be placed only on the territory of five-star hotels. In other localities, gambling establishments may operate in hotels of the “four or five stars” category. At the same time, the deputies returned the requirement to place gambling establishments at a distance of at least 500 m from educational institutions, and also expanded the circle of persons who could apply to the court with a statement of restriction.

The law also envisions an online slot machine monitoring system.

When creating an online casino, it is necessary to pass online certification and connect to the electronic monitoring system.

Under the law, the authorized capital of the respective company must be at least $ 1.1 million (UAH 30 million). These requirements are aimed at ensuring stable winnings payments.

Persons who have reached the age of 21 will be allowed to gamble. There is also a ban on relevant advertisements, with the exception of signage.

To control the work of the gambling market, several registries will be created, for example, the Register of casino gambling organizers, the Register of organizers of gambling in the halls of slot machines, the Register of organizers of betting activities and others.

In addition, a monitoring system with data on gambling equipment will be introduced and a Gambling Market Regulation Commission will be created. The chairman and five members will issue licenses and oversee the gambling market.

Violators of the law will pay fines and be criminally liable.

Before Legalization

The gambling business in Ukraine has been banned since 2009, even bookmakers were banned in the country. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced plans to legalize gambling in the country in August last year during his visit to Turkey.

Earlier, the Main Legal Department of the Verkhovna Rada drew the attention of legislators that the creation of a commission for the gambling and lotteries regulation within the framework of the bill is contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine.

At the end of December 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine ordered the closure of all gambling establishments that operate under the guise of state lotteries. Then, in a day, more than 150 establishments were closed in the country, and equipment for 46 million hryvnias (about $ 2 million) was seized.

Previously, in order to obtain permission to conduct a lottery business in Ukraine, it was necessary to conclude an agreement with a special operator. These agreements did not give the right to install slot machines, which were prohibited. This rule was neglected by many.

What Will The Legalization Of Casinos Give To Ukraine?

It is expected that the legalization of casinos will give Ukraine, as well as all participants in the gambling process, many advantages. First of all, the state will receive the development of the tourism and entertainment sector, as well as impressive taxes.

A profitable business will bring serious investors to Ukraine, large international companies that have experience in the development of entertainment complexes in different countries. For example, Michael Boettcher’s Storm International, which is developing the Shangri La casino chain in the post-Soviet space, has already expressed interest in doing business in the country. There are quite a few other big players. This will allow employing thousands of citizens, and at the same time providing them with a decent level of salaries.

With the advent of a casino, the tourism business of Ukraine will become more diverse. This will allow the development of such areas as junket tourism or casino tours, which attracts respectable travelers with a high level of income.

Darren Keane, Storm International CEO, notes that the opening of gambling complexes will allow many Ukrainian citizens to return home. At the moment, many Ukrainian citizens are employed in the Shangri La network in different countries. All of them will have the opportunity to find good and well-paid work closer to home.

The Ukrainian market looks very interesting, assessed the prospects Darren Keane, Storm International sees many opportunities for the gaming industry.