Betting Jobs consider the recent move in Ukraine to end the prohibition on non-lottery gambling, and the likely repercussions.
The eyes of the industry can only focus on one location for so long before a sea change in another region demands attention. As we discuss in recent weeks the evolving state regulatory landscape in North America, it is all the more important to maintain close contact on both east and west.
The decision of the Ukrainian legislature to bring legalised gambling back into the picture again is approaching confirmation. The bill passed second reading by a large margin, and barring any great surprise will receive presidential approval in the coming weeks.
The approving vote brings an eleven year spell of prohibition towards an end in Ukraine, and will no doubt capture the attention of many large-scale operators and suppliers internationally.
However, the journey still has considerable distance to be travelled before the legislative picture begins to clear.
The return of regulated sports betting and non-lottery gaming has been on the modernisation agenda of President Zelensky since his electoral win last year. Since prohibition, the facilitation of public gambling has naturally retreated out of the open and into more discrete locations. Understandably, as part of a movement across multiple sectors industries, Zelensky earmarked a more liberal gambling sector as a path to a stimulated entertainment and leisure economy.
The path to political consensus has not been a smooth one, with a number of setbacks and amendments marking the road. Indeed, as recently as December, a failed vote on the subject inspired a Presidential twitter call to action and gaming hall crackdown as retaliation. As Katya Gorchinskaya, writing for Forbes, noted at the time – the strict location requirements of the law would require many such venues to close.
That is not to say that there is unanimous support for the bill and legalisation movement in general, and holders of influence in the parliament & wider legislature continue to explore legal opportunities for challenge.
We now wait on these new regulations to be finalised, enacted and their impact to be made clear. Casino.com.ua are hosting a webinar on the topic next week, dissecting the bill itself and the practicalities of launching an operator within its framework.
Tight controls are to be expected, with firm restrictions on international actors in the market as Reuters reports. Operators in the market will be required to be registered domestically, although foreign founders are permitted save for some restricted nations.
Regulator Intelligence specialists Vixio have analysed the remaining challenges for the bill before multiple live regulated operators online and offline in Ukraine is a reality, and the costs that will face those who do venture in. Much of the long term picture, as planned, is a matter of years away and so early entrants will face larger fees and a changing landscape.
Considering the forthcoming changes from a recruitment perspective, the growth of more iGaming & Betting business in the region is highly-encouraging. The technical talent available in multiple Ukrainian locations remains an attractive prospect for many across the many facets of the gaming sector – gambling and otherwise.
Having worked on a number of engagements in the recent past with Ukrainian technical hubs at their centre, we appreciate the value of having an existing local network. We look forward to the marketplace growing once more, and encompassing wider spectrum of iGaming vacancies that will come with new operators launching and localised experience needed.
As recently as today, long term contacts in the industry are taking notice of the shift and are discussing with us their wider interest in Ukraine as a base for operations and talent.
If considering a move into this market, or to discuss your own insights, we welcome the conversation. You can contact us directly via www.bettingjobs.com.