New Life Of Gambling Establishments In Ukraine: Changes In Legislation, Opinion Of Professionals
Ukraine has legally returned the gambling business to the country. 07/14/2020 is a key date that will go down in the history of the state. On this day, the Verkhovna Rada legalized and gave new life to the gambling business. Market professionals, primarily international companies such as Michael Boetther’s Storm International, were waiting for this event to start working in Ukraine.
The parliament approved the law # 2285-d in the second reading. 248 MPs positively voted for it. This Law allows casinos to operate on the territory of Ukraine. It also provides for severe punishment in the form of criminal liability for unauthorized and unlicensed gaming activities. Halls with slot machines are allowed to be placed exclusively in hotels that have a category from 3 to 5 stars.
Before the adoption of an important law, the deputies considered about three and a half thousand various amendments to it. Among the corrections taken into account are the following:
- The possibility of issuing an investment license on a free basis, exclusively on the basis of the new 5-stars hotels in Ukraine.
- Creation of specialized zones for games, but no more than five ones.
- Acceptance of online gaming bets exclusively in non-cash form, without the use of loans and installments, it is imperative to use each player identification.
- A categorical ban on accepting bookmaker’s bets on all events kinds of a virtual nature, this will completely exclude the opening of gambling establishments a-la “Internet club”.
Some Points Provided By The New Law
- The player age qualification is from 21 years. Required identification at the entrance. Creation of a special register of players who have been banned from visiting gambling establishments.
- Placement of gambling establishments at a distance of five hundred meters from schools, not less.
- The work of all establishments in this industry will be allowed exclusively in hotels of the 5-star category. And the operation of slot halls is possible in hotels of the 3-star and 4-star categories.
- The specialized casino license cost will be equal to the equivalent of sixty thousand minimum wages for Kiev (more than 150 hotel rooms), and thirty thousand minimum wages for other cities (more than 100 hotel rooms). A bookmaker license will cost thirty thousand minimum wages for each establishment. The license for slot halls will have seven and a half thousand minimum wages plus six minimum wages for each slot machine.
This law gives the online games organizers the right to use a special system that will commit absolutely any operation, and will also send this information to the state monitoring system.
As a result, the gaming licenses payment plus all taxes from the gambling business should bring up to five billion hryvnias to the budget every year!
So-Called Controversial Aspects
While working on this bill, the deputies spoke about controversial assessments. And who will be the head, and who should and will control all this?
Before the first reading, it was about a special commission for the regulation of gambling and various kinds of lotteries. This commission must report to the Ukrainian government and exercise specialized licensing and full control. It should have included 6 people and the head of the commission. The selection of the commission members should be a competitive commission of 5 people for the submission of the Verkhovna Rada profile committee.
Discussions continued until the last minutes before adoption. At the last moment, the deputies voted for the amendment, which now gives the right to create this commission not to the committee of the Verkhovna Rada, but to the Cabinet of Ministers. This was done so that the Ministry of Finance as a specialized department was directly involved in this commission creation.
311 deputies voted for this amendment, which means that among them were those who were ardent opponents of the law on legalization in general.
Market Professionals’ Reaction
Undoubtedly, the news of the law adoption by all representatives of the gambling business was received with great joy and inspiration. Everyone believes that the long-suffering new bill will finally resume the work of all reputable and time-tested operators in the entertainment world. The prestigious and status gambling brand, Storm International, greeted with hope the news of the law adoption and immediately proceeds to implement a project that will bring the day of its entry into the Ukrainian gambling market as quickly as possible.
Darren Keane, Storm International CEO said, the company is confident that now there is every chance, together with the Ukrainian specialized state structures, to conduct joint gaming activities on mutually beneficial terms.
From now, many Ukrainians will become employees of Storm International gambling units in their homeland. Earlier, due to the long-standing ban on gambling in Ukraine, Ukrainians were forced to work in this network in other countries. Now they get an excellent opportunity to continue their careers without changing its focus, but already on the territory of their homeland.
Today, Ukrainian lawmakers have done everything possible to stabilize by such methods, and soon enable the inevitable growth of the country’s economy. Now everyone just needs to unite their efforts, and all this will become reality. Now everyone is in anticipation of this growth, in anticipation of new jobs, in anticipation of a tourist influx.