Ukraine’s gambling watchdog, Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL), published regulations that will guide the gambling industry. These regulations are the first in the country and they include restrictions on bonuses based on losses.
KRAIL drafted the regulations just a few weeks ago and later released them to the public on June 16, 2021. These rules will provide a framework by which the operators in the industry must abide to promote responsible gambling. The provisions come into effect as the country embraces a new re-regulated industry.
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s legislature, passed a bill that regulates online and land-based gambling as well as legalizing various gambling verticals. The bill was passed in 2020.
However, the major attraction in the provisions published by the regulator is the restriction of bonuses for existing players. According to the provisions, operators shouldn’t provide their customers with any type of bonus payment. This includes services or goods through incentives as a result of a direct or indirect loss by a player in any game.
With this rule in effect, it means operators cannot offer their players any type of bonus should they lose any money or even offer bonuses contingent on a loss made by the player.
Also included in the provisions are self-exclusion and deposit limits regulations. The provision requires all operators to offer their players options to set deposit limits and self-exclude. Moreover, the operators must allow players to review their gambling expenditures on the platform. To top it all off, operators are required to train their employees on what problem gambling is and how to identify signs of the same.
The Ukrainian gambling regulator, KRAIL, issued its first gambling license to Spaceiks LLC. This is the company that operates Cosmolot. The operator forked out UAH39 million to acquire the online license fee valid for five years. Cosmolot was previously referred to as Ukraine’s National Lottery but was disbanded in 2019.
While this was an encouraging move by the regulator, lawmakers are still undecided on the tax regime to use on the Ukrainian gambling market. The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s legislature, made some progress with a bill that sets the gambling taxes at a 10% flat rate. This rate will apply to all verticals and the bill is now in the second reading stage.
The bill had a chance to sail through on a single vote after a motion introduced failed to reach the total vote. This is despite the bill receiving more votes in its support than against.
Bill 2713-D was put forward to the house for the first time by a house committee in February 2021. This was after amendments were made to an original proposal that would put the tax rate at 10% of the gross revenue applicable to all gambling verticals. Before that, Ukraine had proposed another tax regime for the re-regulated landscape that set the rate at between 10% and 30% of the gross gaming revenue although the exact rate would depend on the vertical.