In 2020, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) adopted a law regulating organization and conduct of gambling in Ukraine (the Law). Accordingly, with the adoption of the Law, gambling business in Ukraine became legal, and moratorium on its conduct (in effect since 2009) was abolished.
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Gambling business in Ukraine: requirements and restrictions
In addition, gambling business in Ukraine has become a regulated activity. Therefore, from now on only those entities that have received special licenses and adhere to all of the requirements provided by the Law and license conditions can engage in it. The licenses itself are issued by a special body – the Gambling and Lottery Regulatory Commission (Regulator).
The law provides for three types of licenses that allow online gambling business in Ukraine. These are the licenses for (1) online casinos (2) online poker and (3) online betting activities. Each of these three licenses has its own fee and validity period, as well as sets restrictions for its owner.
(as of 2021)
|Online Casino||39 million UAH (approx. USD 1.4M)||5 years|
|Online poker||30 million UAH (approx. USD 1M)||5 years|
|Internet bookmaking activities||180 million UAH (approx. USD 6.5M)||5 years|
Only a legal entity that is registered in Ukraine can obtain one of these licenses. At the same time, a number of requirements and restrictions are imposed on the legal entity itself, in particular:
- its authorized capital must be formed in cash in an amount not less than 30 million UAH;
- its managers, chief accountant, owners of a major share and ultimate beneficiaries must have an impeccable business reputation and may not be citizens of the Russian Federation;
- its participants (founders, shareholders) cannot be legal entities registered in the countries on the FATF special list;
- its participants (shareholders) cannot be ultimate beneficiaries of a Russian resident entity;
- it cannot have, directly or indirectly, any subsidiaries in another country.
Online gambling business in Ukraine is possible only with the use of certified software (online system), which will record the information. The license itself gives the right to accept bets from players, who are located both in Ukraine and abroad. It is necessary to use a website (including mobile applications) with a domain name in the domain zone UA. At the same time, in order to obtain the right to a domain name in the UA domain zone it is necessary to register a trademark in advance.
In addition to the established license fee it is also necessary to take into account the cost of a special bank deposit or bank guarantee in the amount of UAH 43,2 mln. (as of 2021).
Procedure for obtaining a gambling license in Ukraine
In order to obtain the license, an executive of a legal entity must apply to the Regulator personally or through an authorized person with an application for the license. The application must contain the following information:
- name, location, bank details, identification code of the applicant;
- type of economic activity the applicant intends to obtain the license for;
- type of the license which the applicant intends to obtain;
- information on the legal basis for use of the online system by the applicant;
- information about the brand name to be used for organizing and conducting gambling activity;
- domain name that the applicant plans to use to conduct online gambling business.
Depending on the type of license, additional documents must be attached to the application, in particular:
- certified copies of the constituent documents of the applicant;
- extract from the relevant registry with information on the founders (participants) of the applicant;
- confirmation that the formation of the authorized capital of the applicant is complete;
- source of funds for the applicant’s authorized capital;
- confirmation of the authority of the person who signed the application for the license;
- certificate of no criminal record in Ukraine and in the state of citizenship of the head, accountant, owners of a significant share and final beneficiaries of the applicant;
- certified copies of the documents confirming the rights of the applicant or its founder (participant) to the corresponding domain name of the UA domain zone (intended to be used for online gambling business), as well as the information about the hosting service provider and the domain name registrar.
The Regulator reviews and either approves or declines the application within 15 days of its receipt.
Gambling business in Ukraine: taxation
At the moment the tax rate for online gambling business is set at 18%. It is not the income that is taxed, but the revenue, which is calculated as follows: the revenue from the online gambling business minus the payments made to the player.
It is also necessary to take into account that the current tax rate may be changed in the near future. Thus, the Law provides for the development of a bill to change tax rates for the gaming industry after the launch of the State Online Monitoring System, which will monitor the compliance of gambling business in Ukraine with licensing conditions and technical standards.
What can we do for you?
- advise on the requirements for conducting online gambling business in Ukraine;
- register a legal entity in Ukraine that will meet all the requirements for conducting online gambling business in Ukraine;
- accompany bank account opening for the legal entity;
- register a trademark to get a domain name of UA domain zone;
- prepare documents to obtain the appropriate license – for online casino, online poker or betting activities on the Internet.
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