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Ukraine’s legislature adopts gambling tax bill

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Ukraine’s legislature has at long last passed the bill to set a tax rate for gambling, almost a full year after legislation to open the country's market passed.
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The bill sets a 10% tax rate for all forms of gambling, while gambling winnings of more than eight months’ minimum wage (currently UAH48,000) will be taxed as income.

The legislature first voted to approve an “abbreviated procedure” for the bill, which would allow it to be adopted with a single vote.

The bill had faced an earlier vote last month, also to pass the bill at first reading, but this did not achieve the required vote threshold, despite receiving a majority of votes. It did, however, pass a vote to advance the bill to a second reading.

After final updates from the country’s Finance Committee – such as a rule supplementing an earlier decision to remove a clause to temporarily triple licence fees until a nationwide monitoring system comes into effect – it was adopted.

As some operators, such as early licensees Parimatch and Cosmolot, have already paid these higher licence fees, the amended bill clarifies that these extra payments will be counted against future renewal fees.

In addition, the legislation changed details regarding the country’s tax on gambling winnings, allowing players to deduct losses from their taxable winnings if they occur within the same 24 hour period.

Following these changes – and after the Rada Committee on Integration with the European Union determined the bill was compliant with EU law – the Rada again voted on whether to adopt the bill with a single vote.

This time, 252 deputies voted in favour of the bill, above the 226 votes required for the bill to be adopted. 73 deputies voted against the bill, while 15 abstained.

Previous versions of the tax bill had proposed a rate ranging from 10% to 30% of gross revenue depending on vertical. The bill follows the Gambling Act‘s passage last year, which legalised various forms of land-based and in-person gambling in the Ukraine.

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