worldmatch-launches-34-certified-products-for-belarusian-market

WorldMatch Launches 34 Certified Products for Belarusian Market

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WorldMatch has announced an important milestone for its international growth: the launch of 34 certified products for the Belarusian regulated market.

Belarusian players will be able to enjoy a rich portfolio of engaging and exciting slots. WorldMatch has selected 34 slots for Belorussia among its classic contents and new games. The portfolio varies from classic slots like fruit and Egyptian to brand new themes like nature, adventure and much more.

Andrea Boratto, CEO of WorldMatch, comments on the launch of its slots in Belarus confirming the intention of WorldMatch to continue developing its business on all markets under regulation; therefore, obtaining the necessary certifications immediately to operate in countries that promote legal gaming is perfectly aligned with the strategy of the company. He added that in addition to the European market, WorldMatch relies heavily on LATAM countries and Eastern Europe for the increase of regulated gambling.

ukraine’s-sbu-closes-more-than-30-illegal-gambling-operations-this-month

Ukraine’s SBU Closes More Than 30 Illegal Gambling Operations This Month

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Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), in collaboration with the nation’s Commission for Licensing of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL), has shut down more than 30 illegal casinos and gambling venues across the country this month alone.

The regions in which they were shut down included Kiev, Odessa, Donetsk and Zhytomyr, as well as some others, with some of these venues being run by groups categorised as terrorist organisations by the security service in the country.

The local security services were able to get hold of more than 600 units of computer equipment, 5 roulette wheels, some playing chips, cards, 14 poker tables, cash, video recorders and much more during an inquiry.

As of this moment, the possibility of the involvement of some law enforcement officers in these illegal operations is being investigated.

The SBU went on to say that it found out that a portion of the funds that were acquired through these operations were used in the financing of some self-proclaimed states within the country, such as the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Ukraine sees both of these “states” as being terrorist organisations, despite the fact that most other countries (such as the US and Russia) and international organisations do not use this label for these groups.

weplay-esports-and-usyk-17-promotions-present-ultimate-boxing-night

WePlay Esports and USYK-17 PROMOTIONS present Ultimate Boxing Night

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Ultimate Boxing Night fight card features boxers from Ukraine, Great Britain, Hungary, and Belarus.

Esports media holding company WePlay Esports, represented by its Managing Partners Oleg Krot and Yura Lazebnikov, and the cruiserweight boxing champion Oleksandr Usyk on behalf of USYK-17 PROMOTIONS announced the Ultimate Boxing Night. The event will be broadcast from the WePlay Esports Arena Kyiv.

Boxers from Ukraine, Great Britain, Hungary, and Belarus will participate in the ranking fight night, to be held on April 10.

The Fight Card of the night is as follows:

  1. Ramil Gadzhyiev (Ukraine) vs. Ivan Murashkin (Belarus). Main Event, 8 rounds, super middleweight.
  2. Tsotne Rogava (Ukraine) vs. TBA. Co-Main Event, 4 rounds, super heavyweight.
  3. Daniel Lapin (Ukraine) vs. Attila Koros (Hungary). 6 rounds,  light heavyweight.
  4. Shakiel Thompson (United Kingdom) vs. Vsevolod Slipchenko (Украина). 6 rounds, middleweight.
  5. Nadzir Bakhshyieu (Belarus) vs. Sean Fennell (United Kingdom). 6 rounds, lightweight.
  6. Robert Marton (Ukraine) vs. TBA. 4 rounds, heavyweight.
  7. Myroslav Ishchenko (Ukraine) vs. Alexander Benidze (Ukraine). 4 rounds, super welterweight.
  8. Umar Tsomaev  (Ukraine) vs. Tymofii Khalai (Ukraine). 6 rounds, cruiserweight.
  9. Serhii Huk (Ukraine) vs. Andrii Rudenko (Ukraine). 4 rounds, super featherweight.

“The fights that will take place onstage at the WePlay Esports Arena Kyiv will give viewers much more than they imagine. Expect a storm of emotions from completely new format in boxing!” says Oleksandr Usyk, world cruiserweight boxing champion.

“Our main task is to create a spectacular show that the public will enjoy. A boxing match, the same as fighting games, is a dynamic event where emotions abound. We are happy to support our partners as they seek to present a high-quality spectacle to the public and hold the Ultimate Fight Night in our high-tech arena,” says Yura Lazebnikov, managing partner of WePlay Esports.

parimatch-became-the-first-company-in-ukraine-to-receive-permission-for-a-betting-license

Parimatch became the first company in Ukraine to receive permission for a betting license

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After signing a law on the legalization of gambling, Ukraine moved closer to regulation’s European gambling market standards. Parimatch received the first official Ukrainian permission for a license for betting activities in Ukraine.

On August 13, the law on the legalization of the gambling market came into force – one of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s promises to the people of Ukraine. After 11 years, the gambling business emerged from the shadows, and the state finally brought the country’s betting industry regulations in line with those of Europe.

Parimatch became the first licensed operator in Ukraine. The license allows the company to legally provide betting services, casinos, and poker, which will generate tax revenues to the state budget. The Ukrainian license became the 5th for the international holding Parimatch.

Restarting the gambling market according to European standards will catalyze the inflow of international investments into the country. Parliamentarians have already stated that in 2021 alone, the budget of Ukraine expects about 255 million euros in revenues from the gambling industry. The state will direct the money received from the sale of licenses to support socially significant areas such as medicine, culture, and sports. The influx of foreign investors also contributes to developing of technologies that will give Ukraine the impetus to compete in the international entertainment market.

“Work still remains to be done on reforming tax legislation before the Ukrainian market becomes attractive to foreign investors. Taxation should be transparent and logical so that it doesn’t create additional obstacles for foreign investors. At this stage, the cost of licenses for various types of gambling activities is so high that, together with taxation, it does not make investments in the nascent Ukrainian market attractive. So Ukraine could lose the competition in terms of investment to other countries. Under favorable legal conditions, specialist market capacity and qualifications will allow Ukraine to become a gaming hub for the Eastern Europe region. Like Malta and Manila, Ukraine now has the potential to become a center of expertise for gambling entertainment.” – Managing Partner of Parimatch Holding Maksym Liashko

ukrainian-gambling:-to-be,-or-not-to-be,-that-is-(already-not)-the-question

Ukrainian gambling: to be, or not to be, that is (already not) the question

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After significant and protracted deliberations, Ukraine finally legalized gambling activities back in 2020. The Law on the governance of the organization and carrying out of gambling activities became effective almost half a year ago. As of the date of writing this article, already 3 licenses have been granted to online casinos for their gambling activities to be performed in the future.

There is still a number of issues and, despite all efforts, the gambling market seems to be standstill except for the mentioned minor movements by local online players obtaining licenses. As of now, it seems that no big international market players are entering the newly born Ukrainian gambling market. So, let`s discuss whether it is all going somewhere and if that somewhere is in the right direction.

 

Ukrainian gambling market background

To see a broader picture, one should unveil the historical background of the current gambling market legalization in Ukraine. First of all, it’s worth mentioning that the Ukrainian gambling market has been actually reopened, but not developed from scratch.

The previously operating Ukrainian gambling market was not so much a success story as one might imagine. There were no huge and fancy casinos like in Las Vegas, but rather a market consisting of different establishments, some of them even legal and compliant. They were shut down by decisive moves of the state authorities in 2009 due to the lack of comprehensive regulations and effective control over their execution, which irreversibly led to negative consequences. As a result, the mentioned flaws contributed to the growth of black and grey gambling services markets. Moreover, the lack of strict rules and their enforcement also formed a public opinion that the gambling market was something antisocial and dirty. Ukrainians still remember well those times when slot machine halls literally surrounded public transport stops and were filled with some not exactly wealthy people giving up their last money in pursuit of a snatch.

At that time, Ukrainian authorities decided to use muscles instead of brains and banned all gambling activities instead of introducing reasonable regulation and taking the situation under control. Thus, starting from mid-2009, all gambling operators were forced to leave the wild, but rapidly growing market. However, as one may guess, the Ukrainian gambling ban was not far from the Prohibition in the United States in terms of its results. Ukrainian gambling market simply went undercover, depriving the Ukrainian budget of significant contributions previously made by the industry.

 

What are the current challenges for the Ukrainian gambling market?

Not so long ago, a logical step was taken by Ukraine and the gambling activities ban was lifted. However, same as in the case with the Ukrainian land market, things are not perfectly smooth and there are still some obstacles in place.

For instance, while three online casinos have already paid for and received licenses, they still can`t fully realize and enjoy the rights of an online casino operator. The reason is that the necessary regulations applicable to certification of the equipment to be used in casinos haven`t been adopted yet. Additionally, there is still a certain lack of clarity in terms of taxation of gambling activities. Some say that a specific volume-based tax will be introduced. However, considering that the licensed operators can`t get any revenues in the absence of the regulations to certify their equipment, the issue of taxation seems to be too far to think about.

Apart from that, one should note that this time Ukrainian government decided to seriously take advantage of the gambling market by imposing comparatively high license fees, financial thresholds, and location requirements (for offline casinos). For instance, the license fee is around USD 1.1 million for online casinos (for 5 years) and USD 10 million for offline casinos if based in Kyiv (additional equipment fees will also apply). Moreover, a gambling operator must have a share capital of at least USD 1.1 million and a deposit account or Ukrainian bank guarantee for USD 1.2 million.

As to the location requirements, under the new legislation, casinos can be opened only at 5-star hotels with at least 150 rooms in Kyiv, 4- and 5-star hotels with at least 100 rooms in other regions, out-of-town resorts with a total area of at least 10,000 m2 or “special gaming zones” within territories to be further defined by the Ukrainian government.

Under the new law, various restrictive regulations of a similar character also apply to betting, slot machine halls, and online poker activities.

 

Opportunities and additional obligations for Ukrainian gambling operators

It is worth mentioning that there are some opportunities for the new market players. The new law provides that such players may obtain investment licenses. Holders of such licenses will be exempt from license fees for 10 years if they build a new 5-star hotel with at least 200 rooms in Kyiv or 150 rooms in another Ukrainian region.

Ukrainian gambling operators will be also obliged to follow certain gambling standards and policies aimed at preventing gambling addiction. The government plans to launch a state-owned online monitoring system. The system will perform a real-time oversight and control of the Ukrainian gambling industry.

To sum it all up, it’s an important aspect that different people might make different conclusions as to the above. Pessimists might claim that this time, the gambling market launch in Ukraine has little chance to become interesting for the largest international market players. However, if evaluated by opportunists, entering the Ukrainian gambling market is definitely worth a shot.

High financial thresholds and strict regulations ensure that the market will not slip into putting dirty slot machines centered around metro stations. It is more likely that the Ukrainian gambling industry will at least somehow resemble what one may observe in wealthy locations like Las Vegas. This puts confidence into the minds of potential investors because the government will not be in a position to cut its own leg by banning a well-governed and budget-supporting industry.

The readiness of the local online casino market players to pay for the licenses which can`t be yet used proves the above statement to be true. It also leads to a conclusion that gambling investors should already be on their way to Ukraine in order to be in a time when the market starts to operate and extreme profits flow into the hands of the few pioneers.

This article has been created with the help of Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko (Partner at Marchenko Partners) and Sviatoslav Henyk (Senior Associate at Marchenko Partners)

lotterycom-enters-mou-with-msl-to-offer-us.-lottery-products-in-ukraine

Lottery.com Enters MOU with MSL to Offer U.S. Lottery Products in Ukraine

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Lottery.com, a leading online platform to play the lottery online or from a mobile device, continues its international expansion and has announced that it has entered into an MOU for cooperation with MSL, a Ukrainian state lottery operator, to offer select Lottery.com products in the Ukraine. This announcement comes on the heels of the Company reaffirming its intent to sign a definitive agreement for a business combination with Trident Acquisitions Corp. by mid-February 2021. Select products from the Company will be available both physically and electronically, when approved by Ukrainian legislation, and will be in accordance with current and upcoming compliance requirements of the Ukrainian legislation on lotteries.

MSL, a member of the European Association of State Lotteries, is the largest state lottery operator in Eastern Europe. This agreement will make MSL the exclusive distributor of select Lottery.com products in the Ukraine. Ukraine has a population of about 45 million people, with an estimated gambling market of approximately one billion euros (€1,000,000,000 EUR).

“MSL is an expert and leader in the lottery space in Ukraine. We are grateful to be partnered with such an established powerhouse in the lottery and gaming industry and very excited to expand into the Eastern European market,” said Tony DiMatteo, Chief Executive Officer of Lottery.com.

Lottery.com has been actively working on expanding its international presence and along with other expansion announcements made earlier this year, plans to announce more territories in the coming weeks.

new-ukrainian-gambling-regulator-approves-first-licence

New Ukrainian Gambling Regulator Approves First Licence

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Ukraine’s Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) has approved the first gambling license.

This license has been awarded to operator Spacex for its Kosmolot brand. The operator must pay a UAH30.7m ($1.1m) online licence fee to obtain a five-year licence.

Spacex applied for an online casino licence in December. Its application was initially delayed because the commission asked for more information on the firm’s ownership structure to check it met the requirement that licensees are based in Ukraine.

ukrainian-esports-federation-launches-first-ever-ukrainian-esports-cup

Ukrainian Esports Federation launches first ever Ukrainian Esports Cup

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The Ukrainian Esports Federation (UESF) has launched the first ever Ukrainian Esports Cup in partnership with electronics company Eldorado, which will see players from all over the country battle it out in a five-stage championship.

The launch of the first nationwide Ukrainian Esports Cup follows the Ukrainian state’s recent recognition of esports as an official sport. The competition will be held between the 18th January to 28th March 2021 to correspond with the CS:GO season. Participants can enter the championship alone or in a team of up to five players, and the 12 teams which qualify for the final Super League stages will compete for a prize pool of UAH 250,000.

All Super League participants will receive a bonus from the UESF as well as their own bespoke logo, uniform and social media designs. The first round of the Super League will feature round-robin style matches with a bo2 format, with the top six teams going on to the finals to compete in a single-elimination system with a bo3 match format.

Together with its partners, UESF will promote a number of exciting competitions and giveaways. First off strategic partners Parimatch, one of the leading betting operators in the esports market, and ExpertPC, the well-known Ukrainian gaming PC manufacturer, will offer two people the chance to win a powerful gaming PC.

Ivan Danishevsky commented: “The first Ukrainian Esports Cup is a thrilling moment for esports in this country, representing a major step towards Ukraine becoming an esports hub of the future. We can’t wait for the inaugural tournament, which will deliver both pulsating entertainment and a chance for esports talent to breakthrough. We are confident that this is the beginning of what will become the pinnacle of the Ukrainian sporting calendar in the years to come.”

For further information on how to enter the Ukrainian Esports Cup please visit: https://uesf.org.ua/news/202

egt-interactive-reveals-a-deal-with-the-world-known-operator-888-holdings

EGT Interactive reveals a deal with the world-known operator 888 Holdings

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888casino players in Romania can now enjoy EGT Interactive’s most popular titles.

EGT Interactive is pleased to announce its latest partnership with 888 Holdings, one of the world’s most popular online gaming entertainment and solutions providers. The strategic deal will enable EGT Interactive to broaden the reach of its products while further diversifying the content of the slot available to 888casino customers.

888 has been at the forefront of the online gaming industry since its foundation, providing players with a world-class online gaming experience. EGT Interactive is a perfect fit for the company’s premium gaming content, offering classic casino games across a variety of themes.

The first territory that will benefit from the partnership is the Romanian iGaming market, where players can already enjoy EGT Interactive’s top-performing games. Among Romanian players’ most popular games are titles such as Zodiac Wheel, Shining Crown, Burning Hot, Amazons’ Battle, Book of Magic and many more.

The collaboration between 888 and EGT interactive combines the operator’s world-class technology and gaming platform with content tailored to player experience in the Romanian market. As one of Romania’s leading content providers, EGT Interactive offers games that are well-known and enjoyed by 888’s players in the country. Building on this foundation, the two partners have further ambitions for expansion of their collaboration into markets including Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Todor Zahariev, the Managing Director of EGT Interactive, commented: “We are extremely proud to set the beginning of this new partnership. 888 Holdings has a reputation as a leader in online casinos, and it’s a pleasure to partner with them. Through this deal, we will keep to provide and deliver quality slots to our loyal players.”

Guy Cohen, SVP of B2C at 888 said: “We are very excited by the opportunity for a strong partnership with EGT Interactive. The addition of EGT’s premium games portfolio to our casino platform will further strengthen our diverse range of engaging and entertaining titles. We are also confident this partnership allows us to extend our reach even further into the Romanian iGaming market and help us continue to deliver our commitment to a safe and enjoyable gambling experience.”

ukraine’s-uglc-appoints-new-members

Ukraine’s UGLC Appoints New Members

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Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers has completed the selection process to appoint new members to the Ukrainian Gambling and Lottery Commission (UGLC). The Commission now has seven members following the new selection process.

One of the new members is Yevhen Hetman, who has a background in the field of international relations & cooperation, and has worked with regulatory bodies and ran public and private enterprises.

Another new member is Tetyana Kiriyenko. Her background features experience in law, economics and internal affairs. She has also received special judge training.

Also taking up membership are Khrystyna Dutka-Gefko and Yuriy Kravchenko. Dutka-Gefko has a background in law having worked in local branches of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine. Kravchenko’s background is in law and IT, as they are a member of the Supervisory Board of the International Club of IT Architects and a member of the Game Development Club.

Oleksiy Botezat and Olena Vodolazhko are the final two to be named as members of the commission. Botezat has a background in law and management having previously worked at central and local executive bodies, while Vodolazhko is a lawyer and member of the Ukrainian Bar Association and has worked with different regulatory bodies.

All selected candidates are yet to pass a special test before joining UGLC, details of which have yet to be formalised by the Cabinet of Ministers.