Opening of Casinos in Ukraine: Requirements and Benefits according to Draft Law 2285-d
The draft law 2285-d that regulates the organization and conduct of gambling in Ukraine was adopted in the first reading on January 16, 2020. The text of the law was amended for the second reading and published on the website of Verkhovna Rada on June 10. Let’s discuss its main stipulations concerning the operation of casinos, requirements set to them, and proposed benefits.
Where will casinos be allowed to open in Ukraine?
According to the draft law, organization and conduct of casino games is allowed only on the territory of special gambling zones on the grounds of a license. One license enables the operation of one facility.
Owners are permitted to open casinos:
on the territory of five-star hotels with the capacity of over 150 rooms – for Kyiv;
on the territory of five-star hotels with the capacity of over 100 rooms – for other towns;
on the territory of country complex – a real estate unit located outside the city, comprised of two or more buildings and constructions, with the total area of over 10 thousand square meters, and a compulsory five-star hotel;
in a special territorial gambling zone created by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
Special territorial gambling zones created by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers can involve:
territories within the customs area of Ukraine outside populated areas;
territories of populated areas outside residential districts;
territories that require additional stimulation of social and economic development.
Within a special territorial gambling zone, it is allowed to place casinos on the territory of standalone buildings in case the area of a gambling facility is more than 10 thousand square meters. By the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, not more than five special territorial gambling zones can be established in Ukraine.
What places are considered for the construction of casinos?
In the end of February 2020, plans were reported to open a casino with an area of 1000 square meters at Hilton Kyiv hotel. Investments in equipment are roughly estimated at $20-25 million. The information was announced by the co-owner of Hilton Kyiv and co-founder of 1+1 Media Group Fuksmann Borys. He also informed about the existence of a land-based casino project with the area of 2000 square meters in the same hotel. The expected cost of construction is $5 million.
Other hotels of the country have not announced an intention to launch a casino. It is supposed that projects will be developed after the final enactment of the draft law. But in recent years, there have been rumors about possible regions where the government plans to develop the gambling industry.
Back in late September 2019, referring to its own sources, informational portal Depo.ua reported that the President was considering Lviv, Odesa, and Bukovel as places where the Ukrainian Las Vegas might appear.
The Chairman of Kherson Regional State Administration Yuriy Husyev has been actively promoting the initiative of a pilot project intended to develop a special zone at the Black Sea coast, namely in Kherson region, since 2019.
On June 19, 2020, the mayor of Zhytomyr Serhii Sukhomlyn half-jokingly offered the government to open Chernobyl-Vegas in the program Freedom of the Word By Savik Shuster. According to him, construction of a gambling zone on that territory would align with the interests of the current government, including the control and development of the country’s territories.
Benefits for the construction of casinos in Ukraine
The Chairman of the Servant of the People parliamentary fraction Davyd Arakhamia stated, “If you build a five-star hotel from scratch, the investments are estimated at around $100 million and you will obtain a free license for a casino that costs approximately $20 million. It is an incentive to build hotels.”
The draft law 2285-d specifies that the investment gambling license is issued by the authorized body. It is possible in case the applicant constructs a five-star hotel complex with the capacity of 200 rooms or more in Kyiv or 150 rooms in other towns. There are no fees for the issuance of investment license. The investment license is valid for 10 years.
Find out more about the key development directions of the gambling market after its legalization at Ukrainian Gaming Week 2020.
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