Can legalization of gambling save Ukraine?

there was almost no money left in country's economy. Experts all together said: it is essential to find other sources of revenue for the state budget. Minister of Finance Natalia Yaresko said gambling can be such a source, and its legalization can result in about 2 million UAH for the state budget. It is the argument she put forward on Dec. 23, giving it as a reason for government's decision to legalize gambling industry.

We decided to find out what other prospects legal world of gambling opens and whether it will be a life saver for the country?

Gambling industry: international experience

Gambling industry worldwide is divided by the degree of social problematic and prospects. It is accordingly controlled and taxed by the state.

For example, every 365 days income from betting, casino and lottery replenishes the budget of the European Union for over $ 20 billion EUR. Every year, this amount becomes larger as governments of various countries are becoming more and more aware of profitability of gaming field and necessity to legitimize it.

Gaming business is gradually becoming legitimate in all countries. United States, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Kazakhstan, Malaysia – and this is only the beginning of the list.

Online gambling is one of the phenomena of modern business. According to forecasts, in 2017 annual turnover of the industry will reach $50 billion USD. This is one of the most dynamic and technologically advanced sectors.

What did closure of gambling business in Ukraine result in?

While the industry is rapidly developing in the world, over the past 5 years ban on gambling in Ukraine pushed the country to outsider position. For this time, the state budget short-received billions of hryvnia, and at the same time dozens of jobs have disappeared.

Legislative ban in 2009 has partly moved gambling activities overseas and partly - brought into the shadows. This time has shown that hasty prohibition of gambling has not reached any of its stated objectives. Authorities of the country want to fix the situation, and so today Ministry of Finance of Ukraine is considering three bills on industry legalization.


In 2012, they adopted the law “On the state lotteries in Ukraine”. It was pointed out that companies with over 10 years experience may stay in the market. In Ukraine these are "Patrіot", "MSL" and "Ukrainian National Lottery", two of them have Russian owners, and one - belongs to unknown company with Dutch registration.

The new bill states that lottery operators are now divided into private and public. The cost of license for private operators will be 40 ml UAH, and it will be valid for 10 years. Also, it will be necessary to pay for patents that are necessary for operation of each terminal. Only certified equipment that has a cash register at each point of sale will be used. Electronic system will be created to monitor all bets. The prize fund will not exceed 60% and shall not be less than half the cost of tickets.


Today only toto lotteries are legal. Before Euro 2012 they were trying to license bookmakers, but lottery companies opposed the law.

According to current bill, operator should have more than three year experience and the owner should be citizen of Ukraine and should own 70% of company fund. To purchase a license one needs a million hryvnia. A separate paragraph states that the domain name must be with «.ua». In addition, each bookmaker will have only one online ticket office that will allow the state to register participants of betting activities.


There is sport and non-sport poker in the country. Today, it is not yet listed as non-Olympic sports, but it is possible that it will happen soon. Although poker in the country is little developed, however, there are professional sportsmen in this field.


According to the bill, casinos can be located in five-star hotels with at 250 rooms in Kiev or 125 numbers in other cities of the country. Gambling houses can be opened in non-residential premises, where casinos operated before ban in 2009. Also slot machines are to be allowed at the territory of casino.

It is interesting that bill suggests closing "electronic casino". This concept can be treated equally as online casino or electronic gaming tables, and it is not yet clear what will be closed.
What prospects does legalization of gaming industry in Ukraine open?

1. Gaming industry in Ukraine is a large number of new jobs (estimated up to 30 thousand).
2. Gambling houses in some regions will contribute to the development of infrastructure and increase profits, and that will be of benefit for local government and members of the local community.
3. It will also help develop related industries, will contribute to the production of equipment, stimulate real estate market, food services and catering, advertising and printing and directly influence producers of gaming equipment.

4. Gaming industry is a very promising branch of business that attracts foreign investors. Prohibiting it the state has demonstrated that it is not interested in foreign investments, when in fact it is.
Reasons for the legalization are weighty, but why the country's leadership is in no hurry to give "green light"?

They say that the main reason why there is no hurry to legitimize gambling is gambling addiction. But it can hardly be called relevant reason, since gambling addicts continue to visit underground establishments.

As you can see, legalization is a vital step for Ukraine. And following all the measures of social control, Ukrainian gaming business can become the engine of the economy and a major source of income for state budget.

Prospects of gambling industry development in Ukraine will be discussed in more detail at international specialized gaming expo-forum RGW Moscow 2015 to be held on June 3-4 in Moscow.
Tickets are already available online.

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