Ukraine real money online casinos

Similar to its unstable political environment, Ukraine has found itself smothered under a number of recently-applied anti-gambling laws. Gambling has for many decades been a popular pastime in Ukraine and in many regards it still is. However, it is now restricted to certain areas of the country, bringing its law in line with those used in neighbouring Russia.

Certain areas in the country allow gambling, and lotteries flourish as a popular revenue generator and fantastical outlet for the country’s citizens. Complex legislation, licensing issues, and a thriving underground gambling scene, however, have hindered the government’s attempt to reign in the industry.

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Overview of gambling in Ukraine

Gambling in the territory that is today known as Ukraine has existed for many centuries. Dating back to when it was part of the Russian Empire in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the region was filled with casinos — both legal and illegal. Gambling flourished for a number of years in the post-Soviet Union era, and in the 1990s, many entrepreneurs saw Ukraine as a prime location to build new casinos and gambling halls.

By the mid-2000s, there were an estimated 100,000 gambling halls spread throughout Ukraine. These halls featured a number of different gambling options, including horse race betting, blackjack, roulette, poker and slot machines. The problem, however, was that many of these locations were operating illegally, and despite the government’s attempt to license the properties and monopolise the industry under state control, the underground gambling scene continued to thrive.

Thankfully, state-based lotteries were growing in popularity and have remained popular until today. However, the government has proposed a number of different laws that aim to shut down the gambling industry throughout the country and limit it to certain areas under complete state control. While the laws were loosely applied, many gambling halls shut down.

This led to a renaissance of sorts for poker, which at the time of the government’s aggressive anti-gambling campaign was classified in Ukraine as a sport. However, a sudden increase in popularity, large betting and a thriving underground scene forced the government to amend its laws, crippling what was one of the world’s largest and most lucrative poker scenes at the time.

Online gambling has also grown in popularity over the years, despite crippled internet connectivity due to ravaging civil wars and an unstable political climate. Thus, as people are slowly accessing better internet, overseas casinos and betting sites have proven to be a safe haven for Ukrainian players.

Online casino and gambling laws in Ukraine

Ukraine’s gambling laws are shrouded in tragedy. It dates back to May 2009, when a fire engulfed the Metro Jack Pot casino in the city of Dnipropetrovsk. Nine people were killed, while 11 others were injured. The government reacted swiftly, closing all other gambling halls, casinos and nightclubs in the city until authorities could confirm that they were safe and in line with building and fire codes.

Following the fire, a lot of the public and political angst was aimed firmly at the gambling industry, and as such the government responded by banning all gambling facilities in the country. The law would be called the “On Prohibition of Gambling Business in Ukraine” law, known in the media simply as the Gambling Ban Law.

Expectedly, the law generated fierce opposition from the industry, which employed thousands of people and generated billions in revenue. However, the government ignored their cries, and President Viktor Yushchenko signed the legislation into law. It was made official in early 2010, when the Cabinet of Ministers signed off on removing gambling from the official list of taxable and recognised economic activities. This made gambling a blackmarket.

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Interestingly, and frustratingly for the industry, the ban was also applied to online operations, despite a fire at a land-based casino and concerns for safety being the major drive behind it. The government ultimately saw gambling as a major social issue, and so decided to include online casinos and betting agencies in the ban.

A new provision was introduced in 2010, allowing for the creation of “gaming zones”. This would restrict gambling in the country to certain areas, with the exception of the state lottery. These zones would include hotels with at least 100 rooms and a four-star rating; cultural and entertainment complexes; non-residential premises; Ukraine-registered ships that can accomodate a casino with a gambling hall of at least 500 sq. meters. The entire territory of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea was also classified as a gambling zone.

Can you gamble online from Ukraine?

As it stands today, gambling is officially illegal in Ukraine unless you’re within the designated gambling zones. Due to the banning of casinos and gambling halls in 2009, online casinos and betting sites also found themselves made illegal, including Ukraine-owned operators with severs and hosting in international areas.

Players can play the lottery online, or alternatively, play at a select number of online casinos that accept Ukrainian players. While the operating of and the engaging in gambling outside of designated zones is illegal, individual residents are not prosecuted for gambling on 100% international websites that have no ties to the Ukraine. These sites may apply some minor restrictions, however, like not allowing Ukrainian currency, and limiting the progressive jackpots available to players from Ukraine.

Best Ukraine casino sites

Guts: Guts is regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, one of the most trusted gambling authorities in the world. It accepts Ukrainian players and currency. There is also a 100% welcome bonus for every Ukrainian player that signs up, as well as 100 free spins across a slot game of their choice.

Thrills: Thrills accepts Ukrainian players and offers each one that signs up a $400 welcome bonus. The site features hundreds of online slots and progressive jackpot games from a number of leading software providers, including Betsoft, Microgaming and Net Entertainment.

Slots Million: Slots Million offers 24/7 support to Ukrainian players. It is one of the most trusted and respected online casinos. It offers players more than 1400 slots, as well as many different variations of poker, roulette and blackjack. Ukrainian players can sign up today to receive a 100% sign-up bonus up to $100.

GDay Casino: GDay Casino is one of the best online casinos for Ukrainian players, offering an unlimited welcome bonus for all that sign up. Some progressive jackpots are not available to Ukrainian players, however, although the casino does offer 24/7 support and a wide range of casino games and video slots.

UAH deposit option of online Ukrainian gamblers

The Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) can be easily deposited and converted into a number of different currencies to use on these sites, including USD, Euro, AUD and GBP.

These are the most popular deposit options available at all of our recommended online casino sites:

  • Credit & debit cards – Visa, MasterCard, Entropay Virtual Visa
  • Web wallets – Neteller, Skrill, ecoPayz
  • Pre-paid cards – Paysafecard, Flexepin
  • Bank transfers – Citadel Direct, direct bank wires