The Ukrainian parliament is making news as it was announced that six new bills will be considered involving the regulation of gambling. This includes two draft amendments to the current tax and budget laws related to gambling as well as one rule change regarding illegal gambling. These bills have already been submitted to the parliament.
Of the nine total bills and amendments, only five have currently been made available to the public. The other four are expected to be released after a thorough examination to determine how they meet the regulatory framework.
The bills are backed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has been pushing to legalize gambling within the country since being elected. However, these newly submitted bills are expected to act as a form of protection and were introduced by the People Party back in October. Each of these bills was created to establish a regulatory framework surrounding gambling, including the four most significant segments of the industry: online gambling, lotteries, sports betting, and casinos.
The bills were submitted by Taras Tarasenko, who also authored one of the bills. According to Tarasenko, any group applying for casinos in the capital city of Kiev would be required to pay $3.2 million as part of the application process.
In addition, all online casinos would be required to pay an estimated $2.1 million in licensing fees. One bill specifically addresses the licensing framework for sportsbooks, allowing these online sports betting sites to own 10 brick-and-mortar shops within the country.
Despite the new regulation, it is expected that 32 licenses will be available, with 16 set aside specifically for the capital city. The other 16 will be divided among the other important cities in Ukraine, including in Kharov and Odes.
While there is concern about the impact of gambling on the country, the fact that Ukraine expects gambling to generate $300 million in revenue each year is something that can’t be ignored. The country filed to legalize gambling back in October and that initiative was backed by the president immediately.
According to the bill, the country would like to set up gambling venues as quickly as possible, not only allowing for the establishment of these casinos at three, four, and five-star hotels but also setting up separate facilities.
Portions of these bills are also addressing the rampant problem of illegal gambling. Since the annexation of Crimea, illegal gambling operations have plagued the country, and it is hoped that providing legalized forms will reduce if not completely deter these illegal operations.