Ukraine targets summer initiation for its new gambling law

The CIS office for international law firm Dentons has issued on-the-ground perspectives with regards to the approval of Ukraine’s ‘Gambling Law’ (Bill-2285-D).

Tuesday’s industry headlines were dominated by the Verkhovna Rada approving the bill’s second reading 248-to-95, moving to end Ukraine’s 11-year prohibition of all forms of gambling except for lotteries.

Observing Rada developments, Dentons CIS has detailed further insights on the bill’s intended progress into law, which if uninterrupted should see Ukraine adopt the Gambling Law into existence this summer.

Though approved, the Gambling Law remains a draft mandate, requiring the signature of the Rada’s Committee Secretariat which should receive sign-off within a 10-day period since its parliamentary approval.

Within a week of its final Rada proceedings, the Gambling Law will be forwarded to President Volodymyr Zelensky who will be given a 15-day timeframe to review the bill and officially sign it into federal law.

Following its presidential signature, Ukraine’s government will move to publish the Gambling Law’s official text, revealing the legislative make-up of Ukraine’s new gambling framework for online gambling, sports betting and land-based casinos.

“To sum it up, we are a couple of weeks or maybe even one month away for the Ukraine  Gambling Law entering into force,” commented Ilya Machavariani, Dentons Head of Eastern European Practice Group.

Machavariani advises industry stakeholders to observe developments related to the announcement of a regulatory body and which tax framework the Ukraine government will be forced to adopt.

Ilya Machavariani
Ilya Machavariani – Dentons

“It is unclear yet how Ukraine gambling’s regulatory authority will be formed and who will take leadership and responsibility of managing the organisation” Machavariani adds.

On the key issue of tax, Dentons CIS lead states that as yet there is ‘no clarity of framework on the industry whatsoever’, with the only certainty that the government will choose a GGR system.

“At this point is that Ukraine is going to implement a GGR tax system which appears reasonable and that this tax will enter into force only after the system of online monitoring will be in place. “Machavariani said, “What concerns me most is that there is still no solid information or law covering tax rates.”

Though not yet confirmed by Rada, in separate readings MPs will have to vote on a reported five separate tax frameworks with radically varying tax rates.

Dentons CIS points to further stumbling blocks with regards to how Ukraine’s government will develop and maintain its desired system for monitoring licensed online gambling incumbents.

Industry observers are reminded that Ukraine’s government will be developing its regulatory frameworks from scratch, a tough directive for any government to undertake.

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