Ukraine Gambling Law demands tough scrutiny on operator origins

International law firm Dentons CIS office has published a further breakdown of all provisions attached to the second reading of the Ukraine Gambling Law.

Approved last week by the Verkhovna Rada, the Gambling Law mandate will form the basis for Ukraine adopting a legislative framework regulating gambling services, following 11-years of market prohibition.

Upon approval, Dentons CIS stated that if uninterrupted the Gambling Law should progress through Rada oversight committees and receive its presidential approval this summer –signed officially into Ukrainian law.

However, Dentons warns against stakeholders drawing conclusions from the Gambling Law mandate, as operator requirements and licensing conditions will likely be changed as the government settles on a final framework for its regulated market launch.

As stands, the Gambling Law provides a draft legislative framework for eight gambling services – Land-based casinos, online casino, retail sports betting, online sports betting, Slot machine halls, online poker, totalizer contracts and lotteries.

Each gambling service will require individual licensing issued by a ‘yet to be decided’ Ukraine gambling regulatory agency. Draft Gambling Law provisions establish 12-types of licences for operator and gambling ancillary services providers (casino systems and sports betting software providers).

On obtaining a licence, Dentons CIS underlines that Ukraine’s government has placed strict orders on applying companies fully disclosing their ‘legal entity’, in which ownership, shareholders or management cannot be residents of ‘foreign states recognized as an occupier or aggressor to the Ukraine‘.

All applying incumbents must disclose a charter capital of UAH 30,000,000 (€1.1 million) on application that may include corporate securities, receivables, real estate. The Ukraine government will withdraw applicants that provide charter funds from unknown or unspecified sources.

On ‘anticipated timelines’,  Dentons outlines seven subsequent stages proceeding the draft laws adoption, that stakeholders should observe with regards to legislative changes.

Key stages include – ‘the draft law entering into force’, ‘the incorporation of a regulator’, secondary legislation attached to Ukraine’s sports and criminal laws and a final Rada vote on the sanctioned tax framework of the marketplace.

Outlined as a further key remit, Dentons highlights the Draft Law’s requisite for an online monitoring system observing licensee activities, which the government seeks to launch 2-years following the Draft Law’s approval.

Dentons concludes its legislative breakdown by providing an annex of licensee requirements and market observations as stands with the draft laws approved mandate.


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