Licensing

Parimatch approved for Ukrainian betting licence

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Parimatch has become the first operator to receive approval for a Ukrainian betting licence, after it received approval for an online casino licence last month.
Ukraine

However, the operator must still pay fees before it can operate under the certification.

Parimatch’s approval for betting comes after it was granted an online gaming licence in February. Cosmolot operator Spaceiks have also been approved for an online gaming licence.

Even though the country’s Gambling Act became law in August, Ukraine’s legislature is still working on a bill to tax the industry.

Last week, the country’s Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy approved bill 2713-d, put forward by committee chair Oleg Marusyak, after amending it to set a flat 10% rate for all forms of gambling.

“Work still remains to be done on reforming tax legislation before the Ukrainian market becomes attractive to foreign investors,” Parimatch managing partner Maksym Liashko said. “Taxation should be transparent and logical so that it doesn’t create additional obstacles for foreign investors.”

Liashko said that the current combination of taxes and licence fees was too high to create a workable environment

“At this stage, the cost of licenses for various types of gambling activities is so high that, together with taxation, it does not make investments in the nascent Ukrainian market attractive,” he said. “So Ukraine could lose the competition in terms of investment to other countries.

“Under favorable legal conditions, Ukraine could become a gaming hub for the Eastern Europe region. Like Malta and Manila, Ukraine now has the potential to become a center of expertise for gambling entertainment.”

The country’s gambling laws include a clause to block any Russian-owned gaming businesses, or those with Russian directors, from participating in the market. However, Parimatch had previously confirmed to iGB that it was confident this requirement would not be a concern.

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