Artem Kuzmenko, Head of the Gambling Committee of the Ukrainian Advocates’ Association and Partner at Eterna Law, gives SiGMA News his latest updates on the status of casino legislation in Ukraine
The licensing conditions that came into force on December 30 opened an opportunity for the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (hereinafter the “Commission”) to begin the procedure for accepting and considering applications for licences.
After 15 days, the Commission’s website has already published nine decisions of the Commission based on the results of consideration of applications for licences. Thus, the Commission decided to leave all nine applications without progress due to the discrepancy between the submitted documents and the requirements of the legislation.
The most common grounds are indications of the provision of incomplete or inappropriate information about the ownership structure and the ultimate beneficiary of the owner, the absence of grounds for using the online system and properly certified documents confirming the origin of the funds used to form the authorised capital. Therefore, when forming a package of documents, you should pay special attention to the above points.
Also, in some decisions, one of the grounds is the absence of a document confirming the compliance of the premises with the requirements of the law. At the same time, to date, the procedure for the issuance of such documents should be regulated by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and still waiting approval. As a result, operators are deprived of the opportunity to obtain permission to use the premises for the organization and conduct of gambling.
However, it is expected the first licences will be issued by the end of this month. At the same time, the launch of the online segment market will occur much earlier than offline. There are several reasons – the lack of a regulatory framework for certification of gaming equipment, such a regulatory framework is still under development, as well as a longer and more laborious process of launching the ground segment, which includes the purchase of appropriate equipment, search and hiring, repair of premises, and etc ..
As for the sphere of taxation of gambling – the bill on amendments to the Tax Code has not yet been adopted. At the same time, the bill was approved by a specialised committee, and it is expected to be included on the agenda of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the near future. The majority of operators who are interested in the Ukrainian gambling market are expecting the adoption of this document. And after the adoption of such changes, it will be possible to talk about a wave of foreign operators.
The cost of licencees has risen as of January 1, 2021. This is due to the size of the minimum wage established at the beginning of the year (01.01.2020 – the minimum wage was UAH 4723, 01.01.2021 – 6000 UAH ). In this regard, the cost of licenses has increased equivalently, which in 2021 will be:
For more information don’t hesitate to reach out to SiGMA’s CIS Director Denis Dzyubenko.
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