Ukraine passes bill to legalise gambling

Deloitte Malta news alert

16 July 2020

On 14 July 2020, the Ukrainian legislature, the Verkhovna Rada, passed the landmark Bill 2285-D, the purpose of which is to legalise and regulate online gambling, bookmaking and land-based casinos in Ukraine.

All gambling activities in Ukraine, with the exception of state-run lotteries, have been outlawed since 2009. Efforts to reinstate and regulate legalised gamblinghave been underway since around 2015, but have only recently shown signs of coming to fruition.

The approved bill has set the legal age to gamble at 21, permits the establishment of land-based casinos in hotel premises only, sets out various restrictions on the permitted origin and ownership of businesses in the market, and provides clarification on the structure of licence fees that shall be applicable to service providers in the space.

It is to be noted that the Ukrainian legislature is now expected to deliberate on a further bill, which will regulate the taxation of the gaming industry upon the formalisation of its legislation. Five different bills are currently being considered by the Verkhovna Rada, with various rates of tax on gross gambling revenue, corporate income tax and tax on gambling winnings currently being assessed.

Further updates are expected in the coming weeks on the legal status and tax considerations of gambling in Ukraine.

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