Gambling legalization bill. What shall we expect?

Gambling legalization bill. What shall we expect?

On January 16, 2020, the parliament adopted in the first reading the bill No. 2285-d, related to state regulation of the organization and conduct of gambling.

The Bill provides for the legalization of the following types of activities in Ukraine: casino gambling establishments, conducting gambling casinos via the Internet, betting shops, conducting bookmaking activities via the Internet, slot machines, lotteries, organizing poker games via the Internet, and such a list is exhaustive and other gambling is prohibited.

State control (scheduled / unscheduled inspections, online monitoring) in the field of gambling will be carried out by the Commission for the Development and Regulation of Gambling. The Commission’s powers also include the administration of open registers of the organizers of each type of gambling, as well as a closed register of self-limited individuals (that is, those who have submitted an application to any of the organizers to restrict their participation in gambling for a certain period of time or to be limited in participation in gambling by court order).

In addition, the Bill provides for:

  • restrictions for the organizer of gambling, including:
    • the organization and conduct of gambling are subject to prior licensing
    • the organizer of gambling must be established as a company according to the legislation of Ukraine, with a minimum equity capital of 30.000.000 ₴, and is not a resident of the aggressor state or the ultimate beneficial owner of a resident of the aggressor state
    • casino placement is allowed exclusively in 5* hotels with the number of rooms at least 150 (for Kyiv) and at least 100 (for other settlements),
    • foreign investments are allowed only during the construction of a hotel complex with the number of rooms as of 200 (for Kyiv) and at least 150 (for other settlements),
    • the placement of the slot machine room and betting shops is allowed exclusively in hotels of categories 3*, 4*, 5* with not less than 50 rooms (for Kyiv) and at least 25 rooms (for other settlements),
    • the organizer of the casino gambling is obliged to have a guarantee of a state or other bank elected by the state regulator of not less than 7200 minimum wages (i.e. 34.005.600,)
    • it is forbidden to hire minors to work in gambling establishments
  • restrictions for players, including:
    • introduction of a minimum players age: 18 years,
    • mandatory identification of a player before participating in a gambling game,
    • the possibility of restricting a player’s participation in gambling, including (i) at his own request, (ii) due to incapacity, ludomania (gambling addiction), (iii) by a court decision in connection with the appeal of his relatives of the first degree of kinship because of inappropriate player’s expenses / expenses that put his family in a difficult position,
    • mandatory certification of gambling equipment,
    • a ban on gambling, not specified in the bill.