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This week Ukraine's legislature voted to approve a bill that will legalize gambling within the country, passing the bill on its first reading.
The votes were 260 in favor and 190 against, with those voting for noting that the activity will help boost the economy in the Eastern European country. The bill will note licensing fees for both land and online operators, with online operators facing the lowest fees. Land-based casinos will pay based on the size of casinos with hotel rooms, with larger spots paying higher fees. The schedule will also follow minimum wage and inflation trends, scaling up from there.
Betting groups hailed the decision, with Parimatch particularly sharing their optimism. A statement from the company read in part: "The adoption of Bill 2285-D in its first reading is the first step towards creating a fair and transparent gambling market, which will in turn attract investment and introduce new technology to the country.
"Once legalised, the market will create thousands of jobs, contribute to both state and local budgets, lead to an increase in tourism, and will help to counter corruption in professional sports. Also, the increased tax revenues generated will provide much needed funds to support culture, medicine, and sports in Ukraine."
The bill will now go through to have a second reading, and if it passes that vote, it will move onto the desk of President Volodymyr Zelensky, who can sign the bill into law. Thus far, Zelensky seems to be in favor of the bill, as he's ordered the creation of such a measure in the past.
We'll update readers as the legislation advances.