Ukraine passes bill to legalise gambling

The Supreme Council of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) on Tuesday voted in favour of country-wide gambling after a 248-95 victory at second reading.

The bill will see the legalisation of online gambling, bookmaking and land-based casinos, however casinos may only be located in hotels. The Verkhovna Rada passed more than 100 amendments in the weeks preceding the vote after opposition parties presented more than 3,000 for consideration, though these amendments are yet to be made public.

Under the latest published version of the bill, as approved by the Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy, licence fees for online gambling are set at $1.1m to be paid upon renewal every five years. Bookmakers’ licence fees were set at $2.6m, while a flat fee of $4.5m was set for casinos located in hotels in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, with a $2.6m fee for casinos in hotels elsewhere.

Parimatch Holding, Ukraine’s largest international betting company, welcomed the new legislation, calling it a landmark moment for both the international betting industry and Ukraine’s liberalising economy.

“The development of a fair and regulated betting industry is excellent news for Ukraine,” Parimatch said in a statement. “It will draw international investment [to] help grow important technology and…

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