The Cabinet of Ministers has given its stamp of approval to the draft gaming law in the Ukraine, and is expected to be presented to the Verkhovna Rada for approval before the end of the year. The law legalizes and regulates gaming in the country and includes sports betting casinos, bookmaker’s offices, and online casinos.

According to Your Guide, while key areas of the draft are flawed and it fails to meet international standards, it ends a six-year ban on gambling in Europe’s second largest country and brings gambling out of the shadows. The next stage is to ensure the draft’s flaws are recognized and the necessary changes implemented to ensure the gambling industry in the Ukraine develops transparently, properly and benefits the government, consumer and operator, the key stakeholders.

Desired changes to the draft in 2016 might include:

  • more dialogue with the gambling industry
  • a blueprint for future laws based on the other factors that drive the economy of the gambling industry, including tourism and jobs, which would help Phase II of the draft be an “informed decision” with the desired effects
  • a balance of licensing fees and taxes to enable an increased market and increased tax revenue and prevent the industry from being driven further underground
  • rather than the government completely controlling the gambling industry and increasing the chances of corruption, an international model of an independent gaming regulator should be considered
  • treatment of problem gambling and education should be funded by some of the license fees rather than relying on the industry itself to self-regulate

According to the Ukraine Gaming Association the creation of the state-owned National Service for Gambling would be responsible for issuing licenses to private gaming operators and organizing gambling in the country. The basic principle of the association is “organization and conduct of gambling is ‘Responsible Gaming’, which involves organized gambling measures to prevent and minimize the negative effects on an individual from participating in gambling.”