Ukraine’s Rada has sanctioned a series of ‘secondary laws’ to accompany its formally approved ‘Gambling Law’ mandate, establishing the foundation of Ukraine’s first-ever ‘Gambling and Lottery Commission’ (UGLC).
Closing September proceedings, Rada ministers approved a secondary decree ‘on the formation of a gambling and lottery commission’, which will serve as the state’s legal entity to monitor licensed gambling activities and market conduct.
The decree detailed key criteria as to how the UGLC will operate with regards to its regulatory remit, legislative authority, structure and funding.
In 2021, the UGLC will be tasked with handling ‘all licensing controls’ ahead of Ukraine’s government launching its desired federal regulated gambling marketplace (launch date TBC).
As the market becomes activated, the UGLC will become the central agency monitoring operators’ compliance and market conduct in relation to fulfilling regulatory requirements, applicable laws and ensuring that Ukraine’s new safer gambling measures are in place.
The decree noted that the UGLC will be permitted to carry out ‘enforcement procedures’ within its remit, but underlined that the agency held no powers to conduct criminal proceedings.
“It remains unclear what kind of decisions would be permissible for UGLC to make and what kind of decisions UGLC is going to make. However, UGLC most certainly would not be able to override provisions of the Law,” detailed Ilya Machavariani, managing partner of CIS law firm 4H Agency in its review of decree conditions.
Rada approved proposals which stated that the UGLC will be led by an ‘agency director’ serving a four-year term, who will be voted on by the Cabinet of Ministers in accordance with the Gambling Law. The agency director will be limited to two terms leading the UGLC.
Ukraine’s government confirmed that it will establish a new Kyiv office which will be home to the UGLC and its executive team of six members, who will be tasked with developing ‘regional units’ monitoring gambling activities.
The progress and development of the UGLC will be overseen by an independent advisory board, monitoring how the agency has carried its duties with regards to licensing, and maintaining compliance and market standards.
The funding of the UGLC operations and projects will be directly maintained by the State budget of Ukraine.
Approving the formation of Ukraine’s first regulatory authority for gambling and lotteries, the decree outlined that the agency would provide a ‘positive business climate for attracting investments for the gambling industry, ensuring equal conditions for economic activity in the gambling industry and cooperating with the corresponding gambling regulatory foreign bodies’.
Machavariani added: “The UGLC powers appear to be declarative owing to the decree’s nature – they sound more like objectives or goals rather than actual legislative instruments; however the decree communicates an important message that Ukraine is looking to create a new and transparent international market.”