Parimatch is set to operate in Ukraine after becoming the first operator to receive permission for an official online gaming licence.
The licence will allow the operator to offer sports betting, live casino and online poker in Ukraine, with the country the fifth where Parimatch will hold a licence in.
The sports betting operator was initially approved by the Ukraine Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) for a gaming licence last month, but still needs to undergo procedures such as payment of licence fees, to operate under the licence.
Gambling was legalised in Ukraine last August after the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky signed the Gambling Act into law, legalising online gambling, bookmaking and land-based casinos, although they may only be located in hotels.
However, a bill to tax the industry is still being worked on by Ukraine’s legislature leading to a delay in awarding licences.
According to Parimatch, legalising gambling will enable international investment into the country and parliamentarians believe that €255m ($304.4m) of government revenue in 2021 will come from the gambling industry.
Parimatch managing partner Maksym Liashko said: “Work still remains to be done on reforming tax legislation before the Ukrainian market becomes attractive to foreign investors.
“At this stage, the cost of licences for various types of gambling activities is so high that, together with taxation, it does not make investments in the nascent Ukrainian market attractive.
“Under favourable 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 centre of expertise for gambling entertainment.”