Online gambling in Ukraine

In June 2009 the Ukrainian government implemented a general ban on gambling that saw casinos, slot machine halls and bookmaker offices shut down almost overnight. Similar to Russia’s clampdown on casino gambling (in both intensity and timing), the move was condemned by many as ill-timed in the wake of the global financial crisis and responsible for many thousands of casino workers becoming unemployed. Nevertheless, the prohibition has remained in place.

But while traditional casinos have largely disappeared, a new gambling phenomenon has emerged to take their place across Ukraine – Internet gambling cafes. Taking advantage of a loophole in the prohibition that makes no consideration for the legality of online casinos, many local operators have set up Internet cafe’s that allow customers to log-in to offshore casinos and play remotely.

These cafe’s or clubs are located near every metro train station in Kyiv. Rather than containing slot machines or other gambling devices as they used to, they are now filled with computers.  Some argue that the accessibility of casino gambling options in the country’s major cities hasn’t decreased at all since the anti-gambling laws were passed.

As to authorities stance toward the online casino cafe’s or clubs, some assert that the existing laws do extend to online play. But the widely held opinion from legal experts is that, in its present form, the law does not extend to prohibit play at foreign online casinos and legislative amendments would be required in order for this to be the case. Ukrainian gaming law expert Danylo Getmantsev was quoted in the Kyiv Post as saying “In order to ban such practices, Internet gambling would have to be outlawed or a legal precedent set in the High Court.”

Amendments to extend the ban to online casinos, are purportedly being contemplated. Valeriy Pysarenko, who was one of the legislators responsible for drafting the gambling ban has stated, “We will solve this problem by legislation as soon as possible.”

In any event, authorities have made no attempts to shut down the cafes and online play from home is likewise presently tolerated.

Best live casino for Ukrainian players

The below live dealer casinos offer don’t offer Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) banking options but do provide local language website and support capabilities.

Live casinos for Ukrainian players
Casinos
Players from your location accepted
Player access
Deposits accepted and/or can maintain account in local currency
Banking
Toll free numbers from your country
Toll free support
local language site/support capabilities
Local language
games regionally focused
Games
 

888 Casino
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No restrictions on sign-ups from Ukraine No deposit restrictions.
Maintain account in Euro
Yes Yes European based dealer room with Euro centric games
 

WilliamHill Casino
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No restrictions on Ukrainian player sign-ups No deposit restrictions.
Maintain account in Euro
Yes Yes European based dealer room with Euro centric games
 

UNIBET
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No restrictions on sign-ups from Ukraine No deposit restrictions.
Maintain account in Euro
Yes Yes European based dealer room with Euro centric games.