Spaceiks Is Granted the First Ukrainian Online Gambling License

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Article by : Helen Feb 15, 2021

The newly-established Ukrainian gambling regulator, Ukraine’s Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL), issued its first license on February 2 since online and offline casino operations were legalized in August last year. The lucky applicant is Spaceiks, the company behind the Cosmolot brand.

Now that Spaceiks has made history as the first online casino licensee in Ukraine, it has to pay the UAH39 million license fee (roughly $1.39 million) to seal the deal. Once Spaceiks does that, it will officially be allowed to organize online gambling for the next 5 years, according to the regulator’s official statement. Cosmolot CEO, Serhii Potapov, commented on the regulator’s decision saying that “obtaining a license is an important step.”

The road to legalization has been long, but the creation of a legal market is totally worth it. I really do appreciate the team’s effort: the guys prepared for this day for several months. We should also pay tribute to the Commission – it’s great when a government authority works quickly and accurately.

Serhii Potapov, Cosmolot CEO

However, it would be redundant to say that it was only luck that led to this. Spaceiks had submitted its license application three times before getting the license on the fourth try. All of the prior attempts were left without consideration on the regulator’s behalf as the documents were not prepared correctly: first, the application lacked full information about the beneficiary, then there were no stamps on the documents, and then the regulator wasn’t satisfied with the lack of information on the company’s brand.

Ukraine had any gambling activities outlawed since 2009; however, that hardly stopped any operators – they found a loophole in the legislation on state-approved lotteries. So, after a decade of gambling activities taking place in the grey zone of the law, the Ukrainian authorities decided to legalize them, with the law being passed by the parliament in July 2020 and signed by the president in August last year.

The road to approving the law was tough for the parliament: its members had to consider each and every one of 3,445 proposed amendments before they could vote on the bill itself. Still, the bill got the majority of votes needed to get passed.

Under the new piece of legislation, both online and offline casino activities become legal, although the latter ones can be open only in three- to five-star hotels for slot parlors and four- and five-star ones for full-fledged casinos. In addition to offline gambling venues and online casinos, the list of the now-legal activities includes sports betting and online poker.

Gambling venues also have to be no closer than 500 meters from education establishments, while the casino operators can’t be owned by Russian residents. Gambling will be allowed for players over 21, and operators have to ensure responsible gambling to prevent addiction among players.

The launch of a newly established industry was rapid-fire: the state regulator was created on September 23, a bit more than a month after the law was signed by the Ukrainian president. And just half a year after the parliament vote, the Commission started accepting applications for a gambling license.

The first round of applications was fruitless, however: none of the five companies that submitted documents had their applications considered by the regulators. According to the Commission, none of the applicants had their documents prepared according to the requirements. The applicants in question were Gamedev, Fan Game, and Spaceiks (that later got its license) for the online gambling activities, and Imperia Azart and Khvylia 4444 that applied for a land-based casino license.

Helen

Chief Editor

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