Connect with us

Latest News

Ukrainian gambling: to be, or not to be, that is (already not) the question



Reading Time: 4 minutes


After significant and protracted deliberations, Ukraine finally legalized gambling activities back in 2020. The Law on the governance of the organization and carrying out of gambling activities became effective almost half a year ago. As of the date of writing this article, already 3 licenses have been granted to online casinos for their gambling activities to be performed in the future.

There is still a number of issues and, despite all efforts, the gambling market seems to be standstill except for the mentioned minor movements by local online players obtaining licenses. As of now, it seems that no big international market players are entering the newly born Ukrainian gambling market. So, let`s discuss whether it is all going somewhere and if that somewhere is in the right direction.


Ukrainian gambling market background

To see a broader picture, one should unveil the historical background of the current gambling market legalization in Ukraine. First of all, it’s worth mentioning that the Ukrainian gambling market has been actually reopened, but not developed from scratch.

The previously operating Ukrainian gambling market was not so much a success story as one might imagine. There were no huge and fancy casinos like in Las Vegas, but rather a market consisting of different establishments, some of them even legal and compliant. They were shut down by decisive moves of the state authorities in 2009 due to the lack of comprehensive regulations and effective control over their execution, which irreversibly led to negative consequences. As a result, the mentioned flaws contributed to the growth of black and grey gambling services markets. Moreover, the lack of strict rules and their enforcement also formed a public opinion that the gambling market was something antisocial and dirty. Ukrainians still remember well those times when slot machine halls literally surrounded public transport stops and were filled with some not exactly wealthy people giving up their last money in pursuit of a snatch.

At that time, Ukrainian authorities decided to use muscles instead of brains and banned all gambling activities instead of introducing reasonable regulation and taking the situation under control. Thus, starting from mid-2009, all gambling operators were forced to leave the wild, but rapidly growing market. However, as one may guess, the Ukrainian gambling ban was not far from the Prohibition in the United States in terms of its results. Ukrainian gambling market simply went undercover, depriving the Ukrainian budget of significant contributions previously made by the industry.


What are the current challenges for the Ukrainian gambling market?

Not so long ago, a logical step was taken by Ukraine and the gambling activities ban was lifted. However, same as in the case with the Ukrainian land market, things are not perfectly smooth and there are still some obstacles in place.

For instance, while three online casinos have already paid for and received licenses, they still can`t fully realize and enjoy the rights of an online casino operator. The reason is that the necessary regulations applicable to certification of the equipment to be used in casinos haven`t been adopted yet. Additionally, there is still a certain lack of clarity in terms of taxation of gambling activities. Some say that a specific volume-based tax will be introduced. However, considering that the licensed operators can`t get any revenues in the absence of the regulations to certify their equipment, the issue of taxation seems to be too far to think about.

Apart from that, one should note that this time Ukrainian government decided to seriously take advantage of the gambling market by imposing comparatively high license fees, financial thresholds, and location requirements (for offline casinos). For instance, the license fee is around USD 1.1 million for online casinos (for 5 years) and USD 10 million for offline casinos if based in Kyiv (additional equipment fees will also apply). Moreover, a gambling operator must have a share capital of at least USD 1.1 million and a deposit account or Ukrainian bank guarantee for USD 1.2 million.

As to the location requirements, under the new legislation, casinos can be opened only at 5-star hotels with at least 150 rooms in Kyiv, 4- and 5-star hotels with at least 100 rooms in other regions, out-of-town resorts with a total area of at least 10,000 m2 or “special gaming zones” within territories to be further defined by the Ukrainian government.

Under the new law, various restrictive regulations of a similar character also apply to betting, slot machine halls, and online poker activities.


Opportunities and additional obligations for Ukrainian gambling operators

It is worth mentioning that there are some opportunities for the new market players. The new law provides that such players may obtain investment licenses. Holders of such licenses will be exempt from license fees for 10 years if they build a new 5-star hotel with at least 200 rooms in Kyiv or 150 rooms in another Ukrainian region.

Ukrainian gambling operators will be also obliged to follow certain gambling standards and policies aimed at preventing gambling addiction. The government plans to launch a state-owned online monitoring system. The system will perform a real-time oversight and control of the Ukrainian gambling industry.

To sum it all up, it’s an important aspect that different people might make different conclusions as to the above. Pessimists might claim that this time, the gambling market launch in Ukraine has little chance to become interesting for the largest international market players. However, if evaluated by opportunists, entering the Ukrainian gambling market is definitely worth a shot.

High financial thresholds and strict regulations ensure that the market will not slip into putting dirty slot machines centered around metro stations. It is more likely that the Ukrainian gambling industry will at least somehow resemble what one may observe in wealthy locations like Las Vegas. This puts confidence into the minds of potential investors because the government will not be in a position to cut its own leg by banning a well-governed and budget-supporting industry.

The readiness of the local online casino market players to pay for the licenses which can`t be yet used proves the above statement to be true. It also leads to a conclusion that gambling investors should already be on their way to Ukraine in order to be in a time when the market starts to operate and extreme profits flow into the hands of the few pioneers.

This article has been created with the help of Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko (Partner at Marchenko Partners) and Sviatoslav Henyk (Senior Associate at Marchenko Partners)

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in /home/eegaming/public_html/wp-content/themes/zox-news/comments.php on line 49

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Latest News

Stats Perform co-founder launches social gaming disruptor PickGuru with £2.6m investment round back by leading angels including Paddy Power.



Reading Time: 2 minutes


PickGuru, a brand new social gaming platform, has secured £2.6m in seed funding in their quest to revolutionise the interaction between real-money wagering and live sport. The new platform will allow friends and fans to challenge each other in a wide variety of exciting sports prediction games.

With a concept built and refined by some of the most successful sports entrepreneurs in the UK, PickGuru will allow users to test their knowledge to win big cash pots for small stakes in nationwide leagues or compete with their friends in mini-leagues. Powered by seamless real-time data feeds, PickGuru leaderboards will update dynamically as games progress and reward successful sports gurus with cash prizes.

The funding round will be used to launch and scale PickGuru, set for early 2022.

PickGuru is headed by an experienced founding team including Oliver Slipper (co-founder of Stats Perform/DAZN), Paul Cobley (founder of Matulo Software), Paul Watkins (ex-FP&A director at Stats Perform/DAZN, ex-finance director at Sportquake), Jon Owen and Jon Youell (founders of Pitch International) and Adam Perrin (co-founder of Masomo Games, ex-brand director at Paddy Power).

What began as a competition amongst friends is now set to change the way fans interact with live sports forever. As told by PickGuru’s founders, the platform’s origins started as a manual spreadsheet-based tipping competition which was shared with friends and colleagues during the 2020 Masters tournament. After the game spread across the UK and became a viral sensation, the idea for a new and innovative platform to bring sports fanatics together was born.

PickGuru, is currently looking to fill 10 roles across development, compliance and marketing with a view to recruit a further 20 roles over the next 12 months.

Speaking about the latest fund raise, Oliver Slipper, chairman and co-founder of PickGuru, said: “I certainly didn’t expect things to take off less than a year after sending out a simple game to friends but the massive popularity of it convinced me that I was onto something.

“Following months of hard graft and huge investment, we’re proud to be building the first UK-focused platform that uniquely combines elements of fantasy sports, gaming and live action, and strongly believe users will love the result.”

He continued: “I’m delighted that some of the most successful sports entrepreneurs shared our vision and I thank them for backing our ambitious plans for the business.”

Following a £6m pre-money valuation, PickGuru brought together a list of angel investors including Paddy Power (ex-communications director, Paddy Power), Simon Wear (founder and chairman of Global Cycling Network), Oliver and Alexander Kent-Braham (founders of recent unicorn, Marshmallow) and Will Neale (founder of Grabyo).

Continue Reading

Latest News




Reading Time: < 1 minute


AS Roma is pleased to announce a new partnership with PlanetPay365, the multi-service platform owned by Planet Entertainment, the SKS365 division for value added services.

The brand will support the club throughout the 2021-22 season, enabling all Giallorossi supporters to benefit from the wide range of products on offer.

As an Official Partner, PlanetPay365 will be supporting AS Roma at all Serie A and Coppa Italia matches scheduled to take place at the Stadio Olimpico – not only through visibility on the sidelines, but also through various initiatives that Giallorossi fans will be able to take advantage of, involving PlanetPay365’s retail network.

PlanetPay365 will also enjoy visibility on the club’s online channels thanks to digital campaigns developed in collaboration with the club, the two parties working together in order to offer the best of its services to Giallorossi fans, from phone top-ups to the purchase of gift cards and digital content.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Antstream Arcade brings world’s largest library of retro games to the Epic Games Store



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Global leader in cloud gaming Antstream Arcade launches on the Epic Games Store today, bringing its library of over 1200 games to millions of gamers world-wide. Epic’s users will be able to play iconic video games from the arcade era and beyond, for free, through Antstream Arcade’s dedicated platform.

The first pure cloud gaming platform to be added to the Epic Games Store, Antstream boasts the largest library of games of any cloud gaming service, with iconic classics including Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Mortal Kombat. Antstream Arcade provides the best way for players to enjoy a huge range of retro and casual games – from definitive classics to obscure curios – for free, with no downloads or microtransactions.

As part of a 7-day offer to welcome new users to the platform, players will receive a free gem pack worth $14.99, which can be used to enter the many tournaments hosted on Antstream Arcade, and unlock new “challenge modes” for some of the best games of the last 40 years. Antstream will also be offering players a discount on its premium ad-free subscription option in December, with further details to be announced soon.

Steve Cottam, CEO at Antstream Arcade, said: “We are on a mission to bring some of the greatest games ever created to a socially connected global community using the latest in streaming technology. Today’s launch in the Epic Store is a huge step towards achieving that goal. We’re very excited to welcome a brand new audience to the Antstream Arcade platform, and to push the boundaries of what is possible with cloud gaming by making it accessible to everyone. Players can enjoy any of the games on Antstream Arcade for free, on almost any device. With over a thousand titles available and more being added every week, we’re confident everyone will be able to find something they enjoy.”

Antstream Arcade’s library of streamable games includes titles licenced from Disney, Warner Brothers Taito, Atari and Bandai-Namco, as well as a huge range of smaller indie developers and IP owners from across gaming history. Antstream Arcade represents not only the best way for gamers to legally play the games of the past, but also one of the only ways to continually support a game’s original creators and rights holders. In addition to providing gaming rights holders with a revenue stream for the use of their content, Antstream delivers a wealth of gameplay data from players allowing game owners to better decide how to shape their franchises for future audiences.

Continue Reading


We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.