Ukraine Gambling stakeholders were baffled by the newly formed countries Gaming and Lotteries Regulation Commission (CRGL) after issuing its first license this week.
On Wednesday, CRGL announced that it had issued its first online gambling license to Speisiks LLC, the company that operates the Cosmolot brand, which previously operated in Ukraine under the UNL’s instant lottery license but was discontinued as of July 2019.
CRGL’s approval of Speisiks LLC’s online casino license should have marked the start of the new regulated gaming market in Ukraine about six months later President Volodymyr Zelensky ratified the Ukrainian Gambling Act.
However, CRGL’s decision was reviewed after the Speisiks license was approved, although interested parties are still awaiting a government decision to regulate key requirements related to technical certification of the Gambling Act.
Prior to its announcement, CRGL rejected around 15 license applications and left them “without consideration”, with no clarity about the system and the technical requirements.
While the provisions of the Gambling Act were passed last summer so that companies can apply for licenses, the Ukrainian government has yet to set requirements for “technical accreditation” in terms of technology, operating systems, software and compliance controls.
The situation has puzzled Ukrainian observers about how the CRGL approved the Speisiks license without knowing the final market requirements. The CRGL approval could therefore create legal challenges if Speisiks launches the Cosmolot brand without fulfilling its technical obligations.
Skepticism surrounds CRGL as a government agency formed three months ago to administer licenses fails to clear its first regulatory hurdle. Aside from the technical requirements, Ukraine’s interested parties have yet to know whether the government has finally reached agreement on the market tax framework for gambling, although it appears that the necessary legislation has stalled “halfway to the bottom of the Rada” .
“Developments in Ukraine continue to pick up speed. However, applicants are still waiting for important information on technical certification to meet legal requirements,” he said Ilya Machavariani, CEO and Senior Partner of the GUS consulting company for gambling 4H agency.
“The next few months will be decisive for how a regulated market develops. Out of the blue, CRGL offered its first license this month, but greater transparency could certainly help the market. “