Ukrainian Parliament is pursuing a bill that will establish legalized gambling in the country. The first bill has been introduced into the House for first reading, and once the law is enacted, land-based and online casinos will be issued with licenses to operate gaming across the country.
Currently, gambling is illegal in Ukraine. The bill will allow online sports betting, slot machine parlors, land-based poker clubs, online poker, and lotteries. The bill is expected to be approved by the end of this year.
Casino.org reported that the bill would offer a gaming license that will last for five years. Licenses bidding could start in the first quarter of 2020. Land-based casinos bidding in Kyiv will begin at a minimum of $1.5 million while in other cities, it will start at $1 million.
Casino licenses will only be issued to 5-star hotels; land based casinos will be permitted to operate poker games but not poker tournaments.
Alexander Skoblo, a partner in Dentons’ Moscow office Gaming and Gambling practice group, had this to say about the bill:
“The draft law provides for 20 available casino licenses. But it seems that the number of casinos after its adoption will highly depend on the amount of the hotels that comply with the draft law requirements for running a casino — 5-star hotels with no fewer than 200 rooms — for Kyiv, and 5-star hotels with no fewer than 150 rooms for other cities.”
Ukraine Gaming Market Promising
Ukraine is an attractive gaming site for investors. According to Skoblo, Ukraine is in a strategic location between Europe and Russia; he believes it will be an attractive market for casinos since Ukraine is improving its relationship with the European Union.
Skoblo added that the draft looks promising for the gambling market in Europe. He, however, warned against rushing decisions because the future regulations are not clear. He claimed in Ukraine, everything, including legislation, may change in a day.