Nearly ten years ago, a fire caused a lot of damage in a hall in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, prompting the authorities to ban all gambling activities in Ukraine.
The ban, however, turned out to be an intermediate phase in the development of gambling activities in the Ukrainian market. The assumption was that gambling activities would be stopped for a short while, and then it would be legalized once new rules were in place.
Ten years have elapsed without anything close to civilized rules. Nevertheless, now the authorities seem to be making a step in the right direction. The government is attempting to change the gambling market by creating new rules.
A new law is being drafted to help legalize gambling in Ukraine. The draft law, dubbed draft law No. 2285, was posted on the Ukrainian parliament’s website on the 23rd of October. This law was developed after the president promised that he would legalize betting as a measure to liberate the Ukrainian economy.
The draft law, as it is, proposes a new licensing system for all operators, but the code will limit the number of licenses on the market. The Commission for the development and Regulation of Gambling Market will control the gambling market. The Commission’s job will be to carry out auctions and revoke gambling licenses.
Licenses for operators will be acquired electronically. Nevertheless, rules, as well as procedures for all auctions and the criteria for participation, have not been defined at this time. The commission for development and regulation of the gambling industry will set these rules up.
Perhaps an essential aspect of the licensing is the fact that licenses will be issued for all kinds of gambling activities, both online and offline. Permits will be valid for five years. The starting price for each license has been determined and will be tied down to the minimum amount of subsistence for each non-disabled individual in Ukraine.
However, there will be an exception when it comes to lottery licenses. Their price has not been determined at this time.
Based on the new regulations, the most costly license will be issued in Kyiv and will be worth $1.5 million per year. Licenses for casinos will go for $1 million, while those for slot machines will cost $3 million. Poker clubs will have a field day with their licenses, as they will be expected to pay just $50000.
Every gambling table in each casino will be required to pay $60000 for roulette and $30000 for all other kinds of activities.
Bookmarkers will be allowed just 800 land-based machines within Ukraine, and they will be expected to put them up in non-residential areas. Each city will have a specific number of allowable licenses. Kyiv will have 32, Odesa, Dnipro and Kharkiv will have 16 total while the remaining cities will share the remaining 32.
The new legislation also includes the establishment of an exclusive kitty to support healthcare, sports, and culture. The budge will be financed via the sale of licenses to operators.
The gambling law has also imposed restrictions, which will make it impossible for foreign players to gamble in the Ukrainian market. Each new gambler will be required to provide identification and taxpayer number. Players will also be required to adhere to the new self-regulation rules. Platers will have the opportunity to ask operators of the regulatory commission for self-restriction 6 to 36 months.
The law will have to be subjected to parliamentary and public debate, but already some MPs have expressed their intention to submit alternatives.