Ukraine Exempts Poker From Gambling Laws

This story was published more than 2 years ago.

The government of Ukraine has decided that poker is a sport, and not a game of chance, thereby exempting it from the country's gambling laws.

The game is now officially listed in the Register of Recognized Sports, which separates poker from other card games like blackjack. The move will see poker available to be offered at more locations as it won't be as heavily restricted. The matter had been previously contested, as the government had previously ruled it a game of chance before changing their stance and lumping it in with a slew of different casino games.

It's unknown if the announcement will have a substantial impact on online companies offering their services within Ukraine.

We'll watch the market and let you know if we see any other announcements about the game's expansion in the country.

About the author

Dustin Jermalowicz // News Editor
Dustin Jermalowicz
Dustin has a long-standing passion for gambling. He has been writing professionally on the subject and breaking industry news for Casino Listings since 2011. His favorite casino games include Blackjack, Poker, and Hi/Lo. A proud native of Detroit, Dustin currently lives in Michigan.
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bgsharpe
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29 August 2018 - 12:33pm
#1

Yeah I think the Ukrainian government has a point in that statement despite it's obviously a matter of interpretation and debate too.
How the poker defining as a sport will influence the market though would be the interesting subject here.

auCL-Ed
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30 August 2018 - 7:48am
#2

I'm not sure I would go so far as to call it a sport, but it is definitely a game of skill. So it is nice to see it being recognised as such.

If my memory is correct I think this may be the second time Ukraine has done this. In between another government was in charge and they decided to reverse it, so don't be surprised if it gets reversed again in a few years.

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30 August 2018 - 10:05am
#3

Yeah I agree that a game of skill should be the more appropriate definition and maybe that's what they've meant when they classified it as a "sport", because the other alternative according the local laws should be a game of chance.
But as you said Ed, it's probably just a matter of time before they reversed after some time.

Should it be a game of skill with the chance involved? 😉

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31 August 2018 - 1:21am
#4

Yeah I guess but almost every game of skill has some kind of chance involved. The fact that there are pros and good players that win more than their fair share of games over time tells you all you need to know about whether a game is pure random luck.

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31 August 2018 - 6:16pm
#5

Yeah, I'm not arguing with that Ed, of course it's a game of skill mainly, but maybe according the Ukrainian gambling laws there's not such a definition and that's why they choose to formulate it as a sport- just a speculation from my side of course- don't know the exact reason.

In the end how any sport in general could be described - a game of skill with a bit of chance involved?!