Nature of the gamble

20.06.2014 | By Leonid Uzvar

The issue of legalization of gambling business in Ukraine has been repeatedly examined by the Rada, and even some bills on the subject were drafted. Unfortunately (or fortunately), so far, they have not moved past the level of consideration. However, even now true gamers do not feel any inconveniences because they still can play in illegal casinos, which are plenty in any Ukrainian city, or enjoy their favorite pastime in the virtual gaming establishments


The Law No. 1334VI On the Prohibition of Gambling Business in Ukraine took effect in 2009. Since then, the country ceased to issue licenses, those issued earlier were simply canceled, casinos were closed and financial sanctions were imposed on violators. Those who still wish to continue to work in this field, are not only obliged to pay fines of up to 8,000 minimum wages, but will also undergo full forfeiture of property used for gambling and profits from such activities. Gambling business means activities of legal entities or natural persons aimed at provision of services of access to gambling entertainment, where people can win, but have to pay money for participation. Poker also fell into this category.

At the time of adoption of the law, according to analysts, there were over half a million establishments for gamblers in Ukraine. There have been attempts to disguise them as Internet clubs, but in 2011 the Rada, passed a bill abolishing gambling for money even on the web. And such institutions are still battled only in 2013 more than 3,000 of them were closed in Kyiv.

Nevertheless, on the territory of Ukraine, except visiting the wellcamouflaged conventional onearmed bandits everyone still can play poker, roulette, blackjack in the socalled interactive clubs that allegedly provide Internet services to the public. On the outside such institutions are no different from the usual Internet cafes, but inside you will find mysterious casino atmosphere: twilight, red carpets and dozens of computers, allowing you to play any game of chance for your money. Visitors pay money to the cashier and in case of winning are immediately paid their prizes. Unfortunately, the government has no real opportunity to deal with such interactive clubs so far, because it is very difficult to fix the moment of betting and payment of prizes during raids. However, you must understand, that if the police find you in such a club there will be no way to avoid the trouble.

As to the poker clubs there are only a few of them in the country, some of them have become places for a select group of customers. To date, of all gambling in Ukraine allowed only sports poker, in which very often arranged in Kiev international tournaments and competitions. By and large founders and owners of poker clubs are to blame for the current state of poker in Ukraine. Since 90% of poker clubs have practiced, and some still practice, gambling and casino games (such as roulette, blackjack, craps and slot machines) under the guise of sport of poker, moreover, slot machines were quite commonplace in poker clubs.

In prospect, in the event that the proper legislation is passed, poker clubs will work legally only in the gambling areas or as part of luxury casinos, which will be located in fivestar hotels, and licenses for gambling will cost close to UAH 40 mn. In the meantime, you can play poker without any restrictions at home with your friends.

PCs are the only thing which could not be affected within the framework of adopted legislative instruments. After all, most poker networks and online casinos are registered outside Ukraine on personal or rented servers of foreign companies. As to the payment and withdrawal of money in online casinos, Ukraine tries to keep up with the developed countries. So you may use Visa or Master Cards or transfer money via WebMoney system and even texts.


If you are a gambling man, would like to make money and have no problems with the law try your luck in one of the 56 state lotteries of various kinds. By the way, there is no such thing as nonstate lotteries in Ukraine.

The first operator the Ukrainian National Lottery is licensed only for holding numerical lotteries. Their main point is for you to choose a combination of a numbers and cross them out in the ticket. You will win when the same combination comes up in the process of drawing. Drawings are held on a regular basis, 1 3 times a week.

Another lottery operator Patriot holds only instant lotteries, so you will know their results immediately after buying a ticket and scratchingoff its protective coating.

The third company Molodsportloto besides the aforementioned types of lottery also holds a lottery in which you can bet on sports scores and a bingo in which you do not guess the number yourself but buy tickets with given sets of numbers.

By the way, prizes in the state lotteries are exempt from taxation, but only in amounts not exceeding the sum of 50 minimum wages. As of 01.12.2013, this amount is equal to 60,900 hryvnia. Prizes exceeding such amount are fully taxed at the rate of 17%.

In case you do not have a permanent residence permit in Ukraine, you will be required to pay all taxes under the legislation of the country of your citizenship. When transferring the money abroad, the operator of the lottery will give you a certificate confirming the legality of obtaining the prize.

But even if you managed to win, and even if the prize is more than a few hundreds of thousands or even millions of hryvnya, you may still face some unpleasant moments.

First of all, the term of payment of large prize amounts is determined by the operator. As a rule, operators set maximum periods of payment, which may take 12 18 months. For example, you can wait for the prize of more than 100,000 hryvnia in Super Loto up to one year. Loto Zabava may pay you the same amount after six months, but the prize of more than 3 mn hryvnia in the same lottery you may have to wait for up to 18 months.

By the way, if you are really lucky enough to win such an amount, keep in mind that it is better not to deposit more than UAH 200,000 (which is a stateguaranteed amount of compensation for deposits) in one bank.

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