The bill on the legalization of gambling has been passed, but it is not yet possible to play legally. It is assumed that the law will fully enter into force only in September, but for now we will try to figure out where in Ukraine it will be possible to gamble legally.
Slot machines and betting spots can now be found on the territory of three-, four- and five-star hotels, as well as on racetracks.
You shouldn't expect an increase in the number of offline bookmakers, but the story with slot machines is different. The deputy head of the political party "Sluga naroda", Yevhenia Kravchuk, suggests: "There will be 20 times less of them due to the limited number of licenses." Elena Mochalova, head of the public organization "Support for the legalization of gambling business in Ukraine", also shares her opinion on this topic:
"Some local Kulibin will come and say: there is a capital building in cool pedestrian traffic. And this is the territory of my hotel. The hotel is three stars, everything is falling apart. There is no money to pay the staff. And you can earn money by placing slot machines. The law is written out at risk, after all, slot machines are the most toxic business of the entire “gambling world”. It was first necessary to legalize only online gambling and casinos"
It will be allowed to play poker for money only on the territory of the casino. But poker tournaments without cash bets are not considered as gambling.
Casinos, in turn, can only be found in specially created zones or in 5-star hotels.
The Ukrainians reacted not very positively to the special zones provision. The original version of the law, which only allowed casinos to be located in five-star hotels, was less toxic. As for five-star hotels, there are just a couple of them in Ukraine - about 40.
Further, the rules state that if you are under 21, you will not be allowed into the casino. The new law provides for mandatory identification. How exactly it will happen is still unknown.
"For another 2.5 years, the online monitoring module will not be launched. That means, in fact, that cash transactions in the casino will not be monitored yet. All this time, only the owner himself can be responsible for the identification. Blackmail, manipulation, and the payment of unhealthy amounts will begin. The person has bet 100 000 hryvnias, brought a piece of paper that he is self-limited, and you give him money. Most likely, this norm will have to be rejected in the future," - Mochalova comments.
As for online gambling, the bookmaker and poker sites that purchase licenses will also need to verify their players identity using an electronic digital signature, MobileID or BankID method. The organizer has the right to ask the player to send a photo or answer a video call. You don't have to go through the check every time. It will continue until you receive the first payment.
On the financial side, there is good news for the players. There is no need to pay taxes for the winnings. According to the FATF (Financial Action Task Force on Anti-Money Laundering) regulations, a 28.5% tax will be imposed on winnings from 2,500 euros. But while there is no online monitoring, it will be impossible to monitor the amount of winnings for at least 2,5 years. So you won't actually have to pay taxes.