Ukraine Casinos – Some New Laws Introduced by Rada to Make Gambling “Better” in Ukraine
In the past decade, gambling has been a point of controversy in Ukraine. There was a time when there were bookmakers, slot machine halls, and casinos in the country with hundreds of thousands of people participating in the activity every single day. There was a fire incident in 2009 that took place in a gaming hall and caused gambling in Ukraine to be banne. However, efforts were underway since then to bring the activity back. The proponents in the favor of gambling always thought that industry could bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the country’s budget.
Legal and Regulated Gambling
The mid of 2020 was a great time for those who always wanted gambling to be a legal activity in the country. The bill that Oleg Marusyak had introduced finally received the attention of the parliament. It was approved as the first round of laws and regulations pertaining the gambling industry in the country. The bill contained clauses pertinent to the legalization of the gambling industry in the country, its monitoring, regulation, licensing, legal age, etc. Several changes have been made since then and a new development has now pushed the legalization of gambling in the country into the next phase.
Rada Passes Second Round of Laws for Gambling Legalization
It is clear that things are moving in the right direction for the country. The most important thing to notice here is that the president of the country, Volodymir Zelensky, has been in support of proper, legal, and monitored gambling in the country since the beginning of his tenure. The recent developments should be a comforting point also for those who were against gambling due to its addictive nature. If the laws are passed and implemented properly, gambling will be legal just like ay other sporting activity in the country.
The recent progress in the parliament is the proposal for the foundation of UGLC, which stands for Ukraine’s Gambling and Lottery Commission. Yes, there will be commission in the country now that will regulate and monitor gambling activities in the country. The foundation has not been laid right now, as only the decree that proposed the creation of such a regulatory authority has received approval. At the moment, the points of debate in the parliament are the functions of the body and how it will be funded. Will it be licensing other businesses? Will it only serve as a declarative body? Or will UGLC have the powers to seal businesses that are in violation of the gambling law?
While the bill comprises information about all these particulars, it still needs to go through several rounds of refinement to be ready for creating UGLC. It is important to note here that the new regulatory body will be conducting the procedures that are judicial in nature. However, any proceedings that are criminal in nature will not be carried out by the proposed commission. Apparently, UGLC will be up, running, and functioning in the next year.
At the moment, the parliament is taking into consideration, approving, and accepting the legal framework of the regulatory body and how its infrastructure will be managed. As of now, it is clear that UGLC will have a directory that will act as its head for a term of no more than four years. The same director can only complete two 4-year terms by law. There will be a complete team of executives to manager the operations of the regulatory body, and supposedly, the office of the agency will be located in Kyiv.
The Rise of Legal Gambling in Ukraine
If you are a resident of Ukraine, you have to be prepared for a future in which gambling will be a legal activity in the country. According to the new gambling law, the government will legalize every type of gambling in the country i.e. offline and online. The first thing you have to notice is that the legal age for someone to be able to gamble will be 21. In addition to that, as of now, the number of licenses that will be issued to the businesses is very limited. In other words, only the serious businesses will be able to step into the industry as of now.
The government is interested in legalizing gambling but also wants to stop it from spreading without any regulation and law. For that reason, the licensing fees have been kept quite high.
Casinos will only be located inside hotels as per the new law. Another important update to notice is that casinos in Kyiv will be paying a much higher licensing fee than those in other cities. Any Ukraine casinos inside a hotel locatd in Kyiv will incur a licensing fee of UAH121.6m. For the online entities, they will also have to have a license to run a gambling business, and their license will cost them no less than UAH30.7m. The licenses are not permanent, as every business with the license will have to get it renewed after every five years.
The biggest concern for the government and parliament official is the taxing of the industry right now. Some propose that gambling businesses should be taxed just like other business. On the other hand, some propose a flat tax rate that could be anywhere from 5% to 35%. That’s based on the flat tax rates on gambling businesses in other countries.
Another issue that the government will have to overcome is the identification of people when they go gambling. People will have to give out their identification information before they can gamble. Yes, they will be playing slot machines, poker, and every type of betting game, but only when they provide personal information. Will people be comfortable with this, only time will tell.
A Prospering Ukraine with a Legal Gambling Industry
There should be no doubt in one’s mind that the gambling industry can make a country a lot of money. However, the smooth operation of the industry depends on how flexible the laws are for the businesses that provided gambling services. As of now, it is clear that Ukraine is set to benefit in billions with the help of a monitored, regulated, and controlled gambling industry. The foundation of UGLC is a strong first step in the right direction for a new industry in the country.