The Draft Law No. 2285-d Passed: How Ukraine Will Control Gambling

17 july 2020

The Verkhovna Rada enacted the law No. 2285-d and thus stated that gambling in Ukraine is officially permitted. This document promises to bring back to life both the online sphere and the land-based segment. Several deputies (248 members), mostly from the party “Servant of the People”, cast their votes for the draft bill. Political parties “Trust” and “For the Future” endorsed the initiative only partially.

Aim of the Draft Bill No. 2285-d

Legalisation of the gambling in Ukraine

The explanatory memorandum states: the main task of the law is to harmonize the regulatory framework and take the casino business out of the shadows.

According to experts, the country annually loses about 10 billion hryvnias because of the underground activities of gambling clubs. Legalization of the industry, on the contrary, will provide the public treasury with new sources of income.

Promoters of the draft bill No. 2285-d (Marusyak O. R., Getmantsev D. O., and other deputies from the dedicated financial committee) are counting on the treasury revenues of more than 2.5 billion hryvnias already in the first year after the enactment of the law.

Where it is Allowed to Gamble

The functioning of offline gambling locations will be territorially limited.

Area of activity

Where it can be located

Casinos

  • 5-star hotels (from 150 rooms for the capital and from 100 for other cities).
  • Large entertainment complexes outside the city (the area of the establishment should be not less than 10 thousand square meters; the complex should include at least two separate buildings, and one of them must be a 5-star hotel.
  • Separate gambling zones (the Cabinet of Ministers is planning to create 5 such territories)

Gambling halls with one-armed bandits

  • 3—5-star hotels (from 50 rooms for the capital and from 25 for all other cities; the area of a gambling hall should be not less than 300 square meters)

Betting shops

  • 3—5-star hotels (the requirements for the number of rooms is the same as for gambling halls; the minimum area of a betting shop is 50 square meters).
  • Hippodromes

Poker games for real money (not tournaments)

  • 5-star hotels (poker tournaments are not considered as a kind of gambling so it is regulated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports)

Not all experts acclaimed the draft bill enthusiastically. Most controversies arise around the clause on the location of gambling facilities.

Nikolai Spiridonov, a political analyst

Nikolai Spiridonov, a political analyst, believes:

Most likely, the adoption of the bill was lobbied by the hotel business because it is the only way to explain why casinos should be located in hotels. Why, for example, it is not possible to allow them in cinemas, stadiums or somewhere else?

We would like to recall that in the first edition of the bill, gambling activities could be conducted only in 5-star hotels. After all the edits were reviewed (there was about 3.5 thousand of them), the dedicated committee allowed to open casinos in country house hotels and special gambling zones.

Online Gambling Industry

The statutory document provides an opportunity to organize:

  • online casinos;
  • betting business on the Internet;
  • online poker (along with tournaments).

For each sphere of action, you must receive a separate license. If, for example, an operator is planning to offer his clients online slots with a random number generator and organize virtual card tournaments, he will have to obtain two permits.

Cost and Terms of Legalization

Licenses for poker, betting, and online casinos will be issued for 5 years.

Depending on the type of activity, the price of a document can be:

  1. For bookmakers — 6,5 thousand minimum wages (30,7 million hryvnias).
  2. For operators of online casinos — 30 thousand minimum wages (141,7 million hryvnias).
  3. For organizers of online poker — 5 thousand minimum wages (23,6 million hryvnias).

It is worth noting that minimum wages for January 1, 2020, is 4,723 hryvnias.

Reference to the minimum wages indicator is not accidental: authors of the project took into account the level of inflation and presumable changes in the state budget.

Legal Regulation

Legal regulation of gambling

The draft bill No. 2285-d provides for the establishment of a special commission. The Cabinet of Ministers will deal with its formation and supervision. It will determine the composition of the new commission (5 elected members and one chairman).

The main tasks of the regulator are to issue and renew licenses, monitor observance of liabilities by the licensees, monitor the market, and maintain special online registries.

It is important to mention that licensees will need to become part of an online monitoring system. However, the government promises to develop and launch the platform no earlier than in 2 years. Until then, the price of permits will be increased by a factor of three.

Land-based equipment for gambling halls must be certified. The same rule is applied to software for the online sector and the game content hosted on gaming sites.

The Main Information on Casino Licensing

The enactment of the law No. 2285-d has activated the Ukrainian gambling market. However, the draft bill has caused heated debates because of some of its provisions.

  • The document legalizes both the land-based and online gambling business.
  • Operators can offer gamblers the following services: betting, lotteries, and online poker. They can also launch land-based or virtual casinos and manage the gambling clubs.
  • All permits are issued for 5 years. Their cost is expressed in the size of minimum wages for the adjustment for inflation.

While the draft bill is waiting to be signed by the president, you can think about the creation of your own gambling project. Those entrepreneurs who have been the first to pass the legalization procedure in Ukraine will be able to fight off the competition and take a leading position in the gambling niche.

To spring into actions, please contact professionals of the Online Casino Market company.

From us, you can order:

We are also engaged in the promotion of gaming sites, as well as the integration of security systems, payment modules, and other components for the successful operation of gambling projects.

To get more information on the launch casinos in Ukraine, please contact us:

  • by e-mail: manager@oc-market.com
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  • via the feedback form.

Written by

Karen Fill

Gambling business expert at Online Casino Market

17 july 2020