Current online gaming laws in Ukraine are bad for operators,
but they have little effect on players. Like many countries, Ukraine
has a prohibition on the operation of any gambling site.
Individual players aren’t targeted and have access to a wide
range of foreign betting sites.
The sites that we recommend for Ukrainians aren’t licensed
to do business in Ukraine, but they are safe places nonetheless.
All of the sites mentioned on this site are licensed in other
jurisdictions and are widely regarded as safe places to play.
Current Gaming Laws
Legislation passed in 2009 effectively banned all forms of
gambling in Ukraine other than the lottery. The bill resulted in
the closure of all brick-and-mortar casinos, gambling parlors,
and it also enacted a prohibition on online gambling.
Operators found a loophole in the 2009 law that allowed them
to move their servers outside Ukraine and continue to serve
Ukrainian customers via the internet. The government passed an
amendment in 2011 and ended that. Today anyone involved in the
business of gambling, whether online or off, can be prosecuted.
The internet gaming industry still thrives in Ukraine; it
just doesn’t benefit Ukrainian businesses. The legality of
placing bets online as an individual is unclear, but it doesn’t
seem to matter. Ukrainians are able to visit hundreds of foreign
gaming sites to place bets, play poker, and risk money in
casino-style games. Most of the major names on the international
stage accept customers from Ukraine.
Ukraine looks a lot like the other countries we discuss here
at GamblingSites.org. It has a strict set of gaming laws, but it’s
unable to stop the people from gambling. Fortunately, Ukraine
hasn’t gone so far as to enact an internet censorship program like its
Instability in Ukraine
The Ukrainian-Russian conflict is ongoing at the time of this
writing and we don’t yet know what effect this will have on
online gambling. Additionally, the Ukrainian President was
ousted during the 2014 revolution and an interim government
replaced the outgoing government. Things are in a state of flux
right now and nobody knows what, if any, impact this will have
on the industry.
Prior to the Ukrainian revolution, the Ukrainian government
announced that it was looking into possibly legalizing and
regulating online gambling. It’s anyone’s guess as to where
those plans stand now.
Russia’s takeover of Crimea has also changed things. In April
of 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin
introduced a bill to establish a gambling zone in Crimea
with the intention of turning it into a major gambling
destination on par with Las Vegas and Macau. It’s unlikely this
new region will include any provisions for online gambling given
Russia’s firm opposition to e-gaming.
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