Gambling License in Ukraine: How to Obtain it in 2020
2.1. Types of Licenses
Ukraine is serious about launching a gambling market next year and attracting millions of investments.
The slot machines license should become one of the main tools in the future process of the industry legalizing. In addition, local authorities plan to fight against illegal gambling establishments that have spread throughout the country with the help of such permits.
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The issue of legalizing gambling in Ukraine is one of the priority points in the election program of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his party “Sluga Narodu”. The new parliament was formed at the end of August 2019. The bill No. 2285 was introduced on October 17.
The document, which was registered in the Verkhovna Rada, caused a lot of discussion around the potential gambling segment. According to the presented project, the updated gambling market will start operating on January 1, 2020.
The authorities promise to establish clear and transparent rules for interaction, as well as protect investors from unforeseen risks. All changes and propositions had to be introduced before the end of November. The vote was scheduled for the winter session of parliament, which started on December 2.
The bill unifies all types of gambling, prescribing specific conditions for each direction. The gambling license will become the main regulatory tool. It will be issued for 5 years. A businessman will be able to apply it only to one type of gambling activities indicated in it.
Starting from January 2020, entrepreneurs will be able to obtain permits for the following activities:
- Land-based casino activities.
- Online casino management.
- Organization of ground-based slots clubs.
- Lottery business.
- Holding land-based poker tournaments.
- Organization of online poker competitions.
- Operation of a separate gaming table or betting machine.
- The functioning of the bookmaker.
The principle of a limited number of permits underlies the proposed bill. According to experts, such an approach will minimize speculations and make license holders more conscious of their responsibilities.
In addition to the management of gambling establishments, such companies must pay taxes on time, as well as adhere to the Fair Play principles and fight against gambling addiction.
The number of gambling licenses:
|Direction||Number of Permissions|
|Ground-based casinos|| |
|Online casinos|| |
|Poker clubs|| |
|Slots halls|| |
Besides, the government implies permissions ranking by regions. For example, 80 licenses are intended for betting activities, and 32 permits are allocated for Kyiv. Other major cities such as Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Lviv will get four documents (for each of them). The rest of the licenses will be distributed among other regional centres.
The authors of the bill decided to abandon the fixed cost of the permits. The price of the casino license in Ukraine will be calculated as a certain constant number multiplied by the sum of the subsistence minimum. This indicator changes quarterly and is prescribed in the budget of the country.
Such an approach has received positive feedback from many experts and politicians. In their opinion, this principle minimizes any corruption risks and ensures the operational linking of the licensing cost to the basic budget indicators.
For example, the fee for opening a land-based casino or betting establishment is 12,400 living wages. In the case of the gambling halls, this figure will make up 3,750. Speaking about the organization of poker tournaments, it will be 3,750.
The mandatory contribution will be reviewed every year, and the entire amount will be divided into equal quarterly payments. The businessmen will be exempted from paying a licensing fee if they put into operation a five-star hotel with at least 200 rooms.
The monitoring functions will be given to the special Committee on the Development and Regulation of Gambling (seven independent members), which is subordinate to the Ministry of Finance. The selection of the licensees will be conducted through electronic bidding at the Prozorro website. It should be noted that the system will take a certain percentage of the transaction sum as a commission fee.
The committee cannot influence the trading results directly. Its main task is to check the applicant’s documentation package very carefully and monitor the fulfilment all the obligations by the selected company.
The list of documentation requirements is standard for European legislative practice. The information provided should confirm the applicant’s registration data, his or her financial guarantees, and the legitimacy of the business.
There are some specific conditions:
- The minimum authorized capital amount is ₴30 million.
- All available equipment must be certified following international standards.
- Servers must be connected to the online monitoring system. It will allow the fiscal service to control the cash flow of the business and control the timeliness of payouts.
It is safe to say that the Ukrainian gambling market will open in 2020. Local authorities have prepared a legislative framework that will take into account the interests of both large business and small entrepreneurs. The main thing is to launch your gambling project in time, while the level of competition is not very high.
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