Ukraine Ends the Year Without Finalizing New Gambling Tax Bill

Posted on: December 20, 2021, 06:30h. 

Last updated on: December 20, 2021, 08:10h.

The year 2021 is coming to a close without Ukraine having finalized its new gambling tax regulations. The Verkhovna Rada, the country’s parliament, is going on break, leaving gaming operators guessing about what will happen next.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the media. He and other legislators in the country are dealing with important issues that are forcing delays in a resolution on gambling taxes. (Image: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

Ukraine lawmakers initially approved an update to the country’s gambling regulations last year. However, there were a couple of points in Bill 2713 that were left unsettled. Among those was how to address taxes.

Lawmakers began addressing the issues and came close to having something worked out after reaching a consensus in August. A vote on the bill was expected in November. However, that didn’t happen. Although the Ukraine Committee on Finance signed off on the tax measures, parliamentarians weren’t in a hurry.

It now seems that another delay is inevitable. There’s a chance that a decision could be reached before the end of the year. However, the odds aren’t good. In addition to the holiday season having arrived, Ukraine is dealing with other issues, including the threat of a possible invasion by Russian troops.

There are reportedly 115,000 Russian troops along the border between Russia and Ukraine, and that is certainly more worrisome than how much casino operators must pay in taxes.

Gambling Laws Only Waiting on Final Approval

Everything is in place for Ukraine’s new Gambling Law to be implemented. The only thing that is needed, unless something stands out as questionable, is for the parliament to sign off on the new language. There will be a 10% tax rate established across the industry, and the final layout of Bill 2713 eliminated certain controversial fees that were going to be introduced.

Even 4H Agency CEO and senior partner Ilya Machavariani was surprised that no approval has arrived. He is quoted by SBC News as saying, “We are constantly monitoring the situation with everything that concerns gambling regulations in Ukraine, and today we were expecting it to finally unfold into something more meaningful than another delay.”

He added that there’s an outside chance resolution could come before the end of the year, but that, “The prospects of that are rather grim.”

To be fair to the lawmakers, they haven’t been sitting around drinking nalyvka or kompot. From December 14-17, they approved 22 new laws as they look to keep the country moving forward. Among these were a law to develop new initiatives for a digital economy, and another that allows military forces from other countries to enter the country for “multinational exercises.”