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Ukraine President signs bill legalising gambling

12th August 2020 9:14 am GMT

Legal gambling is set to return to Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelensky signed legislation Tuesday to authorise and regulate online and land-based casino gaming and sports betting.

The new law allows licensed operators to conduct casino gaming and booking activities in retail locations and online, as well as authorising lotteries, online poker and slot parlours.

Land-based casinos will be allowed to be located in five star hotels and four star hotels with at least 100 rooms, as well as within special designated gambling zones.

Slot parlours will be allowed in three, four and five star hotels at a minimum distance of 500 meters from educational institutions, with limits on the number of machines hosted in each venue.

Licensed operators will only be authorised to operate under a single brand, with all online operations required to be conducted through a .ua domain and linked to a central monitoring system. Online operators must provide tools to allow players to set time and spending limits.

Gaming operator Parimatch, which was founded in Ukraine in 1994, praised the president for delivering on his promise to legalise gambling and confirmed that it will be seeking a license.

“I would firstly like to congratulate President Zelensky for delivering on his pledge to legalise gambling in Ukraine. He has a shown that he is a man of his word and we fully support his agenda to liberalise the local economy. Parimatch has long argued that the development of a fair and regulated betting industry will really benefit Ukraine,” said Parimatch chief executive Sergey Portnov.

“We are fully committed to conquering our home market by delivering a product that can entertain the people of Ukraine. We are also proud that we can now contribute to the country’s economy and help grow its technology industry.

“However, for us to deliver these benefits in the long-term we need a fairer tax system which is currently too punitive and uncompetitive compared to similar international markets,” Portnov added. “It is vital that this is addressed as soon as possible to ensure the enduring viability of the industry in Ukraine.”

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