Ukraine has reportedly missed out on its final chance of the year to ratify a piece of legislation that would have fixed a number of outstanding tax issues and finally confirmed the eastern European country’s new gambling landscape.
According to a report from a source, members of the large nation’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, had been due to vote on Bill 2713 in November after the proposal was approved by the 450-seat body’s Finance Committee. However, this initial target was purportedly later delayed as the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky prioritized other issues including the country’s ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic and rising military tensions with the neighboring state of Russia.
Ukraine is home to over 41 million people and its government reportedly approved a measure in August of 2020 that ended a long-running prohibition on most forms of gambling including those taking place online. Nevertheless, this legislation lacked a number of important technical and tax provisions that were to have been conclusively instituted via the passage of Bill 2713.
The Verkhovna Rada reportedly did not discuss Bill 2713 at its most recent meeting on Friday, which was its last before the body breaks up for the Christmas and New Year holidays. As such and 2022 is now purportedly set to dawn without the legislation having been put to a vote with no details forthcoming on whether the issue is to be a priority for legislators once they resume their activities from January 4.
Ilya Machavariani from gambling consultancy 4H Agency reportedly noted that Bill 2713 seeks to do away with Ukraine’s current ‘triple lock licensing fee’ regime in preference to a 10% flat tax on all forms of gambling revenues. The analyst purportedly moreover pronounced that this new regime seemingly has the backing of the majority Servant of the People political party although its passage has been continually delayed by a long-running review into all gambling tax proposals.
This confusion should reportedly not be new to observers of the gambling industry in Europe’s second largest nation as the Ukrainian Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) authority awarded its inaugural iGaming license to operator Spaceiks LLC in February despite there being no specific technical and system requirements. This decision meant that the online casino at Cosmolot24.com was granted permission to begin offering a wide range of games including slots, roulette and baccarat to adult domestic punters even though the nation had no detailed regulatory framework.
Machavariani reportedly stated…
“We are constantly monitoring the situation with everything that concerns gambling regulations in Ukraine and today we were expecting it to finally unfold into something more meaningful than another delay. Unfortunately, parliament has run out of time to hear Bill 2713 today and we’ll now see if it finally gets to the voting in two weeks’ time. At the moment, the prospects for that are rather grim.”