On 16 January 2020, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a draft law to legalise gambling in Ukraine during its first reading by lawmakers.

Online and offline gambling has been restricted in Ukraine since 2009. Despite the gambling ban, however, for years some operators have been successfully bypassing the prohibition by exploiting gaps in the national legislation. As a result, the government decided to put an end to these grey-zone practices and create a legislative framework for gambling activity in Ukraine.

The draft law provides for regulation in the following areas of gambling:

  • casinos (land-based and online);
  • sports betting (land-based and online);
  • slot machines;
  • lotteries;
  • online poker games; and
  • other gambling services (e.g. supply of gambling software).

All the above types of gambling activities are subject to licensing. The draft law sets out the licencing conditions for each of the above gambling areas, specifying details such as duration, licence fees, locations and infrastructure of land-based gambling outlets, etc.

The draft law also introduces the requirements for gambling operators (the financial standing of the company in question), players (identification rules), and gambling equipment.

To regulate the entire gambling sector, the draft law suggests establishing a gambling regulatory authority that would be tasked with setting down and implementing licencing and regulatory measures for all gambling activities.

After some revisions, the draft law now faces parliamentary approval in its second reading.

Legislation: Draft Law On state regulation of gambling No 2285-д dated 18 December 2019.