Spaceiks LLC became the first licensed online gambling operator in Ukraine under the Gambling Act of 2020. The company's request was approved on Tuesday by the Ukrainian Gambling and Lottery Regulation Commission (KRAIL).
Spaceiksm will now pay UAH 30.7 million (about $ 1.1 million) in a license fee and will in turn receive a five-year online gambling license.
KRAIL has several important requirements for applicants. Prior to Spaceix's approval, five other companies were strongly disapproved by the Gaming Authority for failing to execute the necessary paperwork.
Spaceiks himself was rejected a total of three times until the committee finally agreed. Initially, KRAIL requested additional information and clarity on the ownership structure of the online gambling operator. This is tied to specific requirements mentioned in the Gambling Act 2020 itself.
Ukraine will legalize gambling again after a ten-year ban
The new law on gambling in Ukraine was introduced by the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, on August 11, 2020. The law was adopted in second reading with the parliamentary landslide approval 248-95.
Before that, gambling was completely banned across the country. The Ukrainian parliament decided to ban all forms of gambling in 2009 following a fire in the gambling hall that killed nine people.
The legislator has re-legalized many important forms of gambling in the country, including online gambling and slot machines. Land-based casinos also became legal, as long as they are located in hotels.
However, Ukrainian operators face certain limitations. First, operators need a license from KRAIL. Second, companies with Russian shareholders or ultimate beneficiaries (UBOs) do not need to submit an application.
It is still unclear how these newly accepted forms of gambling would be taxed. The latest tax law in Ukraine, 2713-D, proposed a 5% GGR tax for bookmakers, 10% for online gambling and lotteries, and 12.5% for slot machines.
However, the country is currently deciding on four different tax proposals.