Ukraine Eases up Licensing Fees for Gambling Operators

A newly-proposed gambling bill should help Ukrainian bidders for gambling licenses to pay smaller taxes while a monitoring system is being deployed.

New Bill Set to Free up Operators from Burdensome Fees

Ukraine will review a new law that should reduce upkeep and licensing costs for operators willing to launch in the re-regulated gambling market in the country. As per the new bill, Ukraine would no longer expect from license holders to pay triple fees in the absence of a monitoring system which is still being delivered.

Moving forward, license holders could only have to satisfy much smaller licensing fees, depending on the vertical they wish to operate in. Sports betting firms would have to pay an estimated $1 million to cover licensing fees, from previously over $3 million.

Interactive casino license-holders would pay $250,000 per license as opposed to close to $800,000 under the original proposal, should the new bill pass.

In the absence of a monitoring system, however, license-holders would be obliged to carry out an audit and submit it to the Ukrainian tax authorities once the system is rolled out officially to catch up authorities to key metrics that the system is designed to track in the first place.

A Chance to Draw Foreign Investment

To help liberalize the market, the proposed amendment would seek to allow for cross-border server locations, making it possible for companies across Europe to start offering a gambling product in Ukraine legally and without having to invest too heavily in the country, capable of salvaging existing serves instead.

As a result, servers can be located in the European Economic Area or Ukraine, or countries that are deemed appropriate based on several standards that regulators and authorities would debate when reviewing a license. Even better, companies would not to be in limbo for long, as the monitoring system should arrive no later than mid-2021 as per the new proposal.

Keeping Close Tabs on Online Gambling

To ensure the safety and impartialness of the monitoring system, the country’s parliament will have to appoint an international testing agency, such as GLi, iTech Labs or another suitable firm to certify that the system can fulfill its purpose. This should happen at the turn of the year, on January 1, 2021. The system will allow the government and regulators to track in real-time deposits, bets and winnings.

Ukraine has been somewhat slow in adopting gambling, an industry that is rampantly running in the grey across its entire territory. Since August, however, the country has made noticeable progress, including the creation of an independent regulatory body designed to oversee gambling.

The Gambling and Lotteries Regulatory Commission has already appointed key officials and is ready to issue licenses and seek compliance from stakeholders. Ukraine is also going to try and attract international expertise in both establishing consumer protection mechanisms as well as developing taxation that allows it to support the state’s coffers.

While license-holders have been freed up from burdensome licensing fees, the matter of taxation still remains unaddressed. That should change in the coming weeks or months at the latest.

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