Ukraine’s Rada Completes Eight Gambling Draft Bills

After two day-long assessment sessions, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine completes its review of the eight draft bills proposing the new gambling system for the country.

A vote that was taken on Thursday 16 December saw 260 MPs back the changes to Bill 2285-D after its second reading of Rada.

Bill 2285 was the initial draft law preferred by the ruling ‘ Servant of the People’ (SoP) party, which failed in its first reading by 13 votes to obtain a majority mandate, forcing SoP to amend the bill.

The rejection of the original Bill-2285 will require Ukrainian parliamentarians to submit seven alternative proposals to be reviewed by Rada, which continued this week with its evaluation.

Party member Oleksandr Dubinsky allegedly redrafted the new bill. It received the highest appraisal from the finance and taxation committee of the Rada.

The redrafted Bill 2285-D provides for licences in seven main ‘gambling activities ‘-land-based casino, online casino, land-based betting online sports betting, slots arcade, lotteries and online poker. While, incumbents of tech and apps will have to apply for a licence to use Gambling Services.

In pursuit of foreign investment, the Government of Ukraine will create an’ investor license’ requirement to finance investment projects in gambling, which is currently not defined by Bill 2285-D.

Further modifications will see the government abolish the ‘auction licencing process’ and the amount of licences to be made available. Despite amending licencing conditions, international investors will be watchful of the complex and expensive licencing fee structures of the government.

“Ukraine License fees are calculated on the basis of the level of minimal wage amount set by the Ukrainian budget law for each year,” read the initial evaluation of Bill 2285-D by Dentons Russia/Ukraine team, an international law firm.

“Starting from 1 January 2020 equals to 4,723 Hryvnia (approx. EUR 180); licensee fees are calculated on the basis of a 5-year term. For instance, the price of the casino license for Kyiv (hotel with more than 200 rooms) is calculated in the following way: EUR 180 * 60,000 (number of minimum wage amounts for such license according to the draft law) = EUR 10,800,000.”

Ukraine’s Rada remains committed to setting up a new independent regulatory body to create a gambling incumbents monitoring registry and their commitments.