Ukrainian Parliament Receives Six New Gambling Bills

A number of new bills have been submitted to the Verkhovna Rada in Ukraine to offer alternative to the proposed gambling plans revealed in October.

Six New Bills Arrive in Ukrainian Parliament

The Ukrainian Parliament will have to go through a slew of bills, and specifically six bills and two draft amendments related to the future regulation and taxation of gambling in the country.

Backed by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, the push to legalize gambling in the country has intensified.

The newly-submitted bills will act as a counterweight to the measures introduced by the People Party in October. As to the new proposals, they all focus on establishing a regulatory framework for gambling, with minor differences.

As per the bills, the segments included in the would-be legislation include:

  • Online gambling
  • Sports betting
  • Lotteries
  • Casinos

Land-based activities will be hosted at three and five-star venues, depending on the segment a would-be license holder is applying for.

Tarasenko Wants to Protect UA Gamblers from Harm

According to the submission of Taras Tarasenko, one of the authors of the recent bills, entities applying for casinos in Kyiv, the capital, would need to pay ca $3.2 million.

Similarly, operators who want to run online casinos would need to pay estimated $2.1 million. Meanwhile, the bill also predicts a sportsbook licensing framework, allowing a brand to operate up to 10 betting shops across the country.

A total of 32 licenses are expected, with 16 focusing solely on Kyiv and 16 divvied up by other important cities in Ukraine, including Odes and Kharov.

Tarasenko also wants to limit the so-called ‘gambling credits,’ establishment may issue to customers to play and repay later, citing concerns about financial addiction and the risk of players’ health and livelihoods.

More Gambling Bills by UA Lawmakers

Another bill has been submitted by Roman Mulik. In the draft legislation, Mulik specifies that a license would be issued for a period of up to 10 years, extending the period from five years as outlined by other bills.

Oleg Marusyak has introduced an entirely different bill favoring the industry thanks to the low licensing fee, around $280,000. However, casinos in hotels will be charged at least $1.7 million for any property up to 250 rooms.

If a hotel exceeds 250 rooms, then the licenses needed to be paid to operate a casino on the premise goes up to $2.6 million.

Another bill by Oleksandr Dubinsky proposes fixed fees for all online gambling activities. All of the proposed bills outline roughly the same conditions.

Russia’s Own Efforts to Expand Gambling

Meanwhile, to the East, Russia is working on expanding gambling on its own. The country has approved developing a gambling hub in the illegally annexed Crimea peninsula.

Up North, Russia is already showing good signs of development in the Primorye Gambling Zone, which hosts Tigre de Cristal, a high roller casino venue.

Estimated 11 casinos will open doors by 2023 in the gambling zone. Meanwhile, the future of Crimea as a gambling venue is under a lot of uncertainty, as drawing tourists to the quasi-militarized region would be a major headache.

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