The new legislation could hamper the country’s business model
Ukraine .– The Ukrainian Ministry of Finance’s has drafted a gaming legislation that was well received among the industry, but according to the Eastern European gaming giant Storm International the bill could have some limitations that may generate an unworkable business model.
“In general, Storm International welcomes this new law as it will bring the legality back to gaming in the Ukraine and hopefully put a stop to the criminal elements that operate the illegal casinos at present,” stated Darren Keane, CEO of Storm international. The company has expressed its interest in entering the Ukrainian market in case the proper legislation enters into force.
Regarding specific issues such as the license fee and taxation Mr. Keane explained: “The proposed yearly license fee is a fair price that should be paid yearly in the local currency. Failure to do so should mean immediate closure. The proposed annual table and slot taxes are acceptable numbers and are in line with neighbouring country’s tax codes. These should be paid on a monthly or quarterly basis to give the operator the flexibility of adding or removing equipment.”
Mr. Keane also explained that Storm International “do not believe that casinos should be only restricted to four and five star hotels with more than 200 rooms”, since there are too few hotels that match that criteria in the country. “Limiting casinos only to hotels will first limit the maximum amount of tables and slots possible. This will in turn limit the amount of taxes payable on both areas and will give less space for casino restaurants, relaxation areas and concert facilities. Other issues will arise due to space and conformity of working within the given hotels such as car parking, independent kitchens and bars. Without additional services it will also be difficult to reach the 250 minimum requirement of staff,” he added.