Licensing

Parimatch receives Ukraine’s first sports betting licence

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Parimatch has received a sports betting licence in Ukraine, becoming the first operator given the green light to launch legal wagering in the country.
Ukraine

The operator received approval for a sports betting licence from the Ukrainian Gambling Commission (KRAIL) last week, after receiving approval for an online gaming licence last month.

Now, having paid the required licence fees and passed final technical checks, the operator has been formally awarded its betting licence.

“We are the first in the market not only in quality of services and level of technological development but also in compliance with the rules of a transparent business environment,” Parimatch chief executive Sergey Portnov said.

“Parimatch was born in Ukraine, and we are happy to finally officially return and help develop the industry in our home country. 

“Legalisation of the gambling business will help Ukraine generate funds for the budget and distribute them where they are always needed.”

Parimatch Ukraine chief executive Natalia Gilevich said she was glad to see Parimatch able to offer sports betting in the country in which it was founded.

“The Parimatch company was originally founded in Ukraine, and we’ve finally come back,” Gilevich said. “This is a particular challenge and significant responsibility for us, so we will provide the Ukrainian audience with the best the gambling industry can give the player.

“Ukraine has great potential to become the leading platform in the Eastern European market, and we are ready to make this concept a reality.”

In related news, Ukraine’s Gambling Commission also issued a notice to players after having received complaints regarding Parimatch’s dot.com site. It reminded players that Parimatch’s licensed site in the country is its dot.ua operation and said that gambling carried out at “another address, under the Parimatch brand, is illegal”.

A Parimatch spokesperson said the goal of the message was “not completely clear” but said the statement “does not affect us in any way”.

“We have a local license and the .com website does not extend activities to Ukraine,” the spokesperson said. “Such a statement does not oblige us in any way to change our product.”

The country’s gambling laws include a clause to block any Russian-owned gaming businesses, or those with Russian directors, from holding a licence.

However, Parimatch had previously confirmed to iGB that this requirement would be of no concern to its operations.

Ukraine’s gambling act – which legalised online gambling, bookmaking, slot halls and land-based casinos located in hotels – became law in August 2020 after receiving the president’s signature. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed the bill in a 248-95 vote at the second reading the previous month.

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