Gambling in Ukraine is legal. The Verkhovna Rada adopted a bill on the legalization of the gambling business.
After ten years of prohibition, the gambling business in Ukraine received a legal status. At a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada on January 16, 2020, a draft law on the legalization of gambling activities, strictly regulated by state licenses, was adopted in the first reading.Casinos can only be opened in 5-star hotels, slot machine halls can be located in 3-star hotels and above, as well as in separate buildings with an area of 1000 sq.m. school educational institutions. The law provides for an increase in the age of players – from 21 years old with mandatory identification and verification of an identity card at the entrance to gambling halls. The bill provides for the legalization of online gambling casino games, poker games via the Internet, the conduct of bookmaker activities in licensed offices and via the Internet, as well as the licensing of the gambling business services. “State lotteries” are strictly prohibited, under the guise of which the shadow gambling business worked until recently, while a special state license is provided for organizing and issuing lotteries. To control the conduct of gambling activities, a regulatory Commission under the Cabinet of Ministers will be created, which will issue licenses, maintain registers and verify compliance with equipment certification requirements. For the organization of gambling without a license, criminal liability is provided. After the failure of the first vote of the Verkhovna Rada on December 19, 2019, the bill was sent for revision. This event led to a series of actions to close more than 5,000 illegal gambling establishments operating under the guise of licenses to sell national lotteries. According to preliminary estimates, state budget revenues from legally operating gambling business will amount to 2.5 to 4 billion hryvnias per year, these funds will be invested in the development of medicine, sports and culture.