Gambling and sports betting became one of the hot topics in Ukraine in recent years as they are about to be legalized again after a ban from 2009. Even though, the gaming industry was never completely shut down since the majority of the gambling industry kept operating in the black market. Nevertheless, Ukraine is considering adopting new legislation to re-introduce gambling, but the conditions set forth in the proposal bill do not amuse the gambling and sprotsbook community. The conditions are highly unlikely to be met as the government requires 2 million euros of capital excluding investments, as well as a hefty license fees on an annual basis that varies from 300,000 to 1.5 million euros depending on the population of the city the casino operates in. Apart from this, the tax authorities are also looking to get the most out of gambling operators by imposing special taxation rates.
Taxation Rates for Gambling Operators, the Lottery, and Bookies
The tax authorities offer no tax benefits to casino operators or bookmakers as they have to pay more than the rest of Ukraine in taxes. Unlike insurance companies, who are not subjected to special corporate taxes, the gambling industry is, and they have to pay a 10% tax rate on the specified tax in addition to the regular corporate tax which is 18%, and as if that would be not enough, a personal income tax is also required which is 18% in Ukraine. Burdened by so many expenses only in tax money, the bookies and casino operators are outraged, especially considering the additional license fees.
As for the lottery, there will be just one, and the operator will be selected in a tender procedure. The requirements include 5 years international experience in at least three countries and a turnover of at least 3b euros in the said period.
Many advocate for amendments as they believe that only the big companies have a shot to run gambling activities, leaving many potential bookmakers and casino operators out of business.
Land-based and Online Casinos and Bookmakers
Different restrictions will be imposed on land-based casinos, such as a limited number of tables and a restricted offer on gambling slot machines. For the first time, online gambling will be legal, including online bookmaking. But the fee for online gambling operators and bookies is going to be higher, i.e. 1.5 million euro, whereas bookies have to pay additional fees from 1,500 to 3,000 per retail betting shop. They will also be restricted in terms of where to install their online betting shops.