In the fall of 2019, the newly elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Aleksandrovich Zelenskiy instructed the Cabinet of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to develop a methodology and to come to grips with the consideration of a bill on the legalization of gambling in the country. The President has an opinion that, thanks to the lifting of the ban on gambling in Ukraine, the tourism sector and the country’s economy will only benefit. As a reminder, the law banned casinos back in 2009. Despite this ban, many gambling establishments continued to operate.
Everyone knows the fact that until recently an incredible number of halls with slot machines functioned safely in Ukraine. Almost all of these establishments operated under the guise of national lotteries. Using even minimal loopholes in the law, since the distant 2012, many owners of gambling establishments have the opportunity to acquire completely legal permits for their activities. Usually, such permission could be easily obtained by contacting one of the lottery operators who have a state license in their possession. As practice has shown, most often such halls with slot machines are located next to pawnshops. And this, as everyone understands, in most cases leads to very disastrous results.
July 2020. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopts a law legalizing the gaming business in the country. And already on August 11, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Aleksandrovich Zelensky signed this bill.
The gambling law, which was adopted by our parliament, is the most moderate and the most insured against gambling addicts so that they do not become victims of their own passion. This law is aimed at increasing the attractiveness of the country for international investment due to the development of this particular sector of the Ukrainian economy. New hotels will be built, they will be able to acquire a license to open gambling establishments on their territory. Probably the most important point of all this is that there will be no slot machines or casinos on the streets of Ukrainian cities. They will be placed exactly in hotels, where there is a careful control over who exactly visits these establishments.
The new provisions of the law will affect all categories of the country’s gambling sector: these are land-based and online casinos, bookmakers, and the activities of national lottery operators, as well as popular poker clubs.
The new law assumes that the cost of specialized licenses will vary depending on the specifics of gambling and the territorial location of establishments in this industry.
Where to play?
Initially, there was information that casinos could be located exclusively in 5-star hotels. The adopted law also allows other locations. This may be the territory of some suburban complex, but only on the condition that the total area of the complex is more than 10 thousand square meters. m., and there is a five-star hotel on its territory. It is also allowed to locate casinos in gambling zones specially provided for these purposes. These zones will be located outside the territories of settlements outside residential areas.
But the placement of halls with slot machines is allowed in hotels with a category – from three stars and above. The specialized license covers 250 machines. It is important to take into account that it is permissible to use slot machines not older than 2019. Another important aspect is the placement of such halls at a distance of at least five hundred meters from educational institutions of any type.
Legal betting is possible both on the Internet and through land-based bookmakers. It should be noted that the placement of such establishments is allowed only in hotels of at least 3-star class and at racetracks. At the same time, it is prohibited to accept bets on any virtual events – only on real ones.
A unified register of gambling addicts will be created in order to be able to control this situation as much as possible. It will be a unified database of those people who have various kinds of problems with gambling. The register of such people will concern not only casinos that will be located in five-star hotels, but also bookmakers’ offices and slot machine halls.
The minimum age for players will also increase. Under the new law, this is 21 years. Verification will be carried out by checking the passport data at the entrance to the gambling establishment. If the regulatory authorities in these establishments find persons under the age of 21, serious penalties will be applied, up to and including revocation of the establishment’s license. Using any gaming equipment without specialized certificates or making modifications to its system will also be punished with considerable fines. An important point – the possibility of organizing or participating in the game process for citizens of the occupying state is completely excluded.
Storm International on legalization
A well-known operator of gambling entertainment with a worldwide reputation – the Michael Boettcher’s Storm International holding fully supports all legislative innovations and is ready to quickly enter the gambling market of Ukraine. The company’s management makes extremely optimistic forecasts regarding the development of the gambling industry in Ukraine. World experience shows that the introduction of state licensing of gambling activities has a positive effect on the budget of any country in the world. The fact of legalization will undoubtedly help to attract numerous foreign investors. And what is important, positive dynamics is also expected in related areas of the country’s economy, for example, in the field of international tourism.
Leading experts of Storm International, Darren Keane, the company CEO note with confidence that the sphere of gambling entertainment, operating on a legal basis, is also a huge number of jobs.
In addition to the leader of the gaming industry, said Darren Keane, Storm International companies expect their opportunity to enter the Ukrainian market and other global brands of gaming entertainment. For whom one of the most important working conditions is the legality and transparency of all legal issues.