Will gambling business in Ukraine be legalized?

Will gambling business in Ukraine be legalized?

Gambling community in Ukraine advocates the legalization of casinos. And government officials believe that first, it is necessary to put an end to illegal gambling business and regulate the only legal gambling industry today – national lotteries.

Legalizing casinos in Ukraine: no progress whatsoever

Two large Ukrainian hotels recently joined the Coordinating Council for the socially responsible legalization of casinos, which was established in December 2017.

Its main mission is to form a common position on important issues of the gambling industry and establish a dialogue with authority representatives and potential partners. It was assumed that the council would include representatives of the gambling, hotel and travel business. In February, top range hotels InterContinental and Fairmont, located in downtown Kyiv, announced their desire to join the Council. Their leadership supports the legalization of casinos in the country because they are interested in opening professional casinos at their establishments.

The initiatives put forward by the council have supporters in the parliament. But some of the Ukrainian politicians are against legalizing any kind of gambling in the country. Now the only legal "gambling" business in Ukraine is national lottery.

The situation on the lottery market

The lottery market also causes a lot of controversy in the parliament. The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU), on behalf of the government, analyzed it and submitted a detailed report on February 1. Recommendations on improving the situation were also formulated.

Among them are:

  • Defining formal requirements for market participants;
  • Developing a monitoring system;
  • Regulating related markets;
  • State certification of lottery equipment;
  • Restricting advertising of lottery services;
  • Controlling user services, effective barriers;
  • Limiting the locations of lottery tickets selling.

As AMCU specialists explained, the main goals of these innovations are fighting shadow gambling in Ukraine (which is often masked as lottery business); protecting citizens’ well-being; transparency and decriminalization of the industry.


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