Ukraine’s inaugural iGaming license causes confusion
Ukrainian regulators on Monday greenlit Spaceiks LLC to operate in the country. The decision left a majority of folks associated with the industry in splits as the authorities are yet to clarify a raft of specific system requirements and technical details.
According to a report by SBCNews, The Ukrainian Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) issued an iGaming license for the first time. This is historic as Ukraine is the second-largest nation in Europe and is potentially a lucrative market for online casino operators.
Spaceiks LLC currently owns Cosmolot24.com, a platform formerly operated by the Ukrainian National Lottery. KRAIL’s license allows Cosmolot24 to offer an assorted range of casino games like video slots, baccarat, and roulette to over 42 million legal age Ukrainians. The license will be active for the duration of 5 years. The total expected costs for the iGaming license was set around 1.1 million US dollars (UAH 30.7 million).
Questions are being asked as KRAIL is yet to specify the technical requirements related to iGaming, including specifics covering aspects like software, compliance, systems, and technologies. Spaceiks LLC reportedly attained a license while the applications of nearly 15 rivals languished without consideration as they failed to meet the yet to be determined regulatory obligations.
A Lack of Fairplay?
The current state of affairs has left a chunk of industry observers scouring for additional details as to how and why Spaceiks LLC was granted an iGaming license as so many of its rivals still wait for the authorities to finalize the rules surrounding iGaming operations in the Ukrainian market.
Ilya Machavariana, an analyst for gaming consultancy at 4H Agency, believes KRAIL could face a series of legal charges if Cosmolot24 goes live in Ukraine while its competitors are kept locked behind red tape.
Her statement reads:
“Developments continue to pick up the pace in Ukraine, as the applicants wait for crucial information on the technical requirements necessary to address the legal requirements. The next three months will be vital for shaping a regulated industry in Ukraine. While KRAIL granted its first iGaming license out of the blue this month, greater transparency is required if the regulators want to establish a fair and free marketplace in future”.
Spaceiks’s Version of Events
Spaceiks LLC applied for an iGaming license in December 2020. And although the regulators had initially asked for more clarity on Spaceiks’ ownership structure to ensure that it met the requirements, it became Ukraine’s first licensed operator. KRAIL’s official statement reads:
“Spaceiks LLC’s application to host online gambling services was approved after much consideration and review”.
Cosmolot24’s Chief Executive Officer Sergey Potapov revealed he was excited to finally witness the start of Ukraine’s regulated online gambling industry after a long fight for legalization. He explained:
“Obtaining a license is crucial. The road to legalization has been a long and tiring journey. But shaping a regulated market was worth the effort.”
“I appreciate the efforts made by the team. The guys have been at it for several months, and we’re extremely grateful to the commission for working quickly and accurately to finalize the regulations”, Potapov added.
Category: Gambling industry