Bill Legalizing Gambling in Ukraine Passed, Parimatch Calls It Good News

Bill 2285-D which regulates the gambling market in Ukraine was passed by lawmakers today. While the bill has set costs for licensing fees, the taxation of the industry is still being discussed.

Ukraine Passed a Bill Regulating the Gambling Market

Ukraine has passed a bill that regulates online and land-based gambling. Bill 2285-D was passed by the Verkhovna Rada. The bill was passed today following lawmakers vote which ended 248-95 in favor. Under the bill, Ukraine will legalize bookmaking and land-based casinos. However, a requirement for the casinos is that they are positioned within hotels. Bill 2285-D was initially introduced back in 2019 by Oleg Marusyak.

Back in June, the bill received another quick update and amendments. All in all, there have been some 3,000 different amendments requested for the bill, but the Verkhovna Rada only passed more than 100 of them before voting on the bill itself.

Bill 2285-D introduced restrictions towards ownership of businesses within the gambling sector. Essentially, the bill bans people who originate from countries that are occupying or aggressors towards Ukraine. Local news outlets reported that this part of the bill was aiming at restricting Russian companies, Russian businessmen as well as ultimate beneficial ownership (UBOs).

Gambling License Fees Are Set, Taxation Still Outstanding

The latest version of the bill, approved by the Rada and the Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy, outlined the licensing fees payable by the gambling operators. Online gambling operators will be paying a license fee of UAH30.7 million ($1.1 million / €1.0 million). The license will be renewable and this fee is applicable every five years.

On the other hand, bookmakers will be paying a license fee of UAH70.8 million ($2.6 million / €2.28 million). In addition, casinos in hotels in Kyiv, which is Ukraine’s capital, as well as casinos in other places will be paying UAH121.6 million ($4.4 million / €3.9 million) and UAH70.8 million ($2.6 million / €2.2 million) respectively.

Although the bill was passed, a gambling commission is yet to be created in Ukraine. With that in mind, it is also important to mention that taxation is yet to be established as well. By now, there are five different bills proposed for the gambling taxation in Ukraine. The bills vary from no taxation, only license fees to 25% tax on all lotteries and gambling activities.

The taxation bill which is most likely to pass was offered by Marusyak. It features some 5% gross gambling revenue (GGR) tax for bookmakers, some 10% when it comes to lottery and online gambling and 12.5% taxes on slot machine operations. In that line of thoughts, the Rada may choose one of the proposed five bills or decide to introduce a new gambling taxation bill.

Parimatch Deemed the Gambling Bill as a Landmark Moment

The operator Parimatch welcomed the decision of the Ukraine Rada for legalizing the gambling in the country. The company said in a statement: “Parimatch Holding welcomes the result of today’s important vote.” Furthermore, Parimatch outlined: “It is a landmark moment for both the international betting industry and Ukraine’s liberalizing economy.

The operator continued by saying that the fair and regulated gambling industry in Ukraine is nothing but good news for the country. According to the company, the legalization of gambling will show the world that the country is open for business and investments. Parimatch also outlined that with the help of licensing fees and taxes, high revenues will be generated for the state’s budget.

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