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Ukraine’s legislature sends gambling tax bill to second reading

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Ukraine’s legislature, the Verkhovna Rada, has progressed a bill to set gambling taxes in the country to a second reading, though an attempt to wave through the proposal with a single vote failed.

The proposal – bill 2713-D – was first put forward by a legislative committee in February this year and would set tax rates at 10% of gross revenue for all verticals.

Winnings are taxed at eight times the annual minimum wage in the country, or UAH48,000 (£1,223/€1,429/$1,745). 

In addition, the proposal also repeals a threefold increase in licence fees that would have applied until the country established a central monitoring system for gambling. 

Previously, plans for gambling tax in Ukraine’s newly-regulated landscape called for a rate ranging from 10% to 30% of gross revenue depending on vertical. 

The Rada first voted on whether to pass the bill into law, without the need for a second reading. Although many more deputies voted for the bill than against, by a 217-59 margin, 55 members either abstained or didn’t vote. As a result, the bill fell short of the 226 votes required to pass a bill without a second reading.

After this vote failed, deputies then voted on whether to instead simply pass the bill to a second reading. In this case, 229 deputies voted for the bill and 58 against, allowing it to pass.

The bill had previously been scheduled for a first reading on 19 May, but this vote was delayed to June.

Last month, just before the originally scheduled vote, the tax bill was criticised by the Scientific and Expert Management Committee of the Verkhovna Rada, which said the taxes should be higher in order to protect state and local budgets.

It argued that as gambling could have a negative social impact, taxes should therefore be designed to limit consumption through higher duties. 

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