In the collective imagination, casinos are places where gambling and betting reign supreme. Most modern casinos, especially luxury ones, are more like mega-resorts, where, in addition to gambling entertainment, guests are pampered and respected. This goes from star restaurants to fast food, from huge pools to showrooms. There are also real galleries of different types of shops. And, finally, among the thousands of entertainment and attractions, there is the casino itself. It is there, between the slot machines, the betting room, the halls with tables, and private rooms, players from all over the world can access the best and most interesting gaming experience. In this article, we will tell you about the new Eastern European Las Vegas – Ukraine.
Indeed, it became possible to visit one of the land-based casinos in Ukraine. It happened after the government of the country resumed the gaming industry. It was illegal for eleven years. This significant event took place in the summer of 2020. And since then, Ukrainian operators, including First Casino Ukraine, have folded and submitted a package of documents to obtain official Ukrainian permission to conduct their activities. But what about online casinos in Ukraine? Let’s figure it out.
New Gambling Regulations in Ukraine
In August 2020, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a law on the legalization of gambling businesses. According to forecasts, the supposed budget was to receive UAH 4.5 billion in 2020. However, it received dozens of times less. The development of legal gambling is hampered by bureaucracy, high taxes, and the fear of foreign investors in front of Ukrainian realities. Learn more about New Gambling Laws in Ukraine from our article. Nevertheless, Ukrainian companies have already started buying licenses. The firms, which Ukrainians know from the Kosmolot and Slots City casinos, paid $ 1.4 million each for licenses to operate online casinos. The license was also bought by the bookmaker Parimatch.
Deputies who are lobbying for tax rebates for bookmakers are constantly talking about the interest from foreign companies. However, they do not speak about specific names. Information appears in the media and the web that some Russian companies are interested in the Ukrainian gambling market. Indeed, the first company to fulfill all the requirements of the Gambling and Lotteries Regulatory Commission was First Casino. It is the First Casino that has been hosting guests on its website in test mode since the beginning of 2020. And in less than six months, the First-Casino brand has managed to assemble a dedicated team of fans of gambling entertainment.
Eastern European Las Vegas: First Casino
After receiving a gaming license from the authorized body of the Ukrainian government, First Casino started to implement its project to open the largest land-based casino. Not all casinos are the same and not all offer the same gaming experience. However, entering the First Casino, which awaits everyone based on the Gagarin hotel complex in the city of Odessa, you can find several rooms with special tables, a hall with more than 200 slot machines, special closed rooms for poker and blackjack. Indeed, this casino does not change the eternal traditions. Therefore, it is not surprising that a large share of all gambling entertainment in the club falls on the classics of gambling.
There are many types of casino games based on different mechanisms and systems. For example, card-based games such as poker, blackjack, baccarat, and dice-based games. Their actions are beyond the control of the player. All that remains for the gambler is to place bets on only one or a few possible results and wait with trepidation for the desired number or combination to appear. There are also mechanical, automatic, or semi-automatic games and electronic games such as slot machines, video poker, keno, and bingo.
In reality, it makes no difference what you prefer to play. The only thing that remains unchanged is that the First Casino company is making every effort to make Ukraine an Eastern European Las Vegas in its new land-based casinos and gaming clubs. Thus, everyone who visits their gaming establishments will be as pleased as possible and get the best gaming experience. Additionally, you can stay in the comfort of your own home and visit the Melbet Casino.
A new resort city may appear in Ukraine. Moreover, it will be an analog of Monte Carlo or Las Vegas. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promises that a new settlement will appear on the Black Sea coast and boost the economy. Indeed, at the 16th Yalta Conference (YES), the President made a resonant statement. He promised to create a full-fledged city in Ukraine from scratch. “New resort on the Black Sea coast. It is necessary to clarify that this will be a completely new city, from scratch, ”Zelensky said. Such an idea for the Office of the President did not come up by chance. According to the idea of Ze’s team, Ukraine needs such projects that can launch the economy in a short time. Details and possible locations are unknown. However, it is logical to assume that the construction site may be in the Kherson, Mykolaiv, or Odesa regions.
If the project is developed and approved, this will happen at least during the cadence of Vladimir Zelensky, until 2024. Moreover, the President and the new for-presidential Cabinet of Ministers of Oleksiy Honcharuk set a goal to get 5-7% of GDP growth annually, as well as 40% in about 5 years. Such a high figure is possible only in the event of fundamental changes in the country’s economy. For example, the opening of a land market, a complete fight against corruption, or the construction of such a resort in a new location. Some information about the project was published by the Ukrainian Telegram channels. The authors argue that the possible location is the south of the Odessa region.
What Else Do We Know About the Eastern European Las Vegas?
“The feature of the city will be the “gambling zone ”and many more interesting additions can appear in this city. They are considering the option of making a temporary “free trade zone” there, which gives enormous investments and business interest. Now Zelensky’s team is working on various options and proposals for big business, ”the authors of the channel said. Considering that projects of this kind are new to Ukraine, local media decided to talk with experts and find out how the idea will affect ordinary citizens. If we assume that it does not die at the development stage and the President has a desire to complete what he started, then we need to pay attention to several points.
According to economist Vasily Nevmerzhitsky, this idea has several major advantages. Firstly, investments will enter Ukraine which can be millions of dollars. This is a huge boost both for the south and for the state as a whole. Secondly, if a free economic zone is created on the territory, slot machines, casinos, and so on are legalized, this will attract tourists from neighboring countries. This can also bring money to the budget. Finally, this is a huge infrastructure project that can create jobs for Ukrainians and attract new technologies. Even online casinos in Ukraine can benefit from it.
However, there are also several disadvantages. Indeed, it can be a direct risk for Odessa. If an alternative appears on the Black Sea coast, the “pearl by the sea” risks losing both labor and tourists. Besides, large investors and international companies, due to certain reasons (mistrust, or lack of knowledge), can ignore the local labor force and attract foreign specialists. Let’s hope that these problems will decrease with time.
To Sum It Up
The government hopes to turn Ukraine into a second Las Vegas. Thus, according to the estimates of the Minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, the amount of unpaid taxes from the shadow income of the gaming business exceeds 300 million hryvnias. At the same time, ex-Minister of Finance Natalya Yaresko generally believes that income from the gaming business can exceed 5 billion hryvnias. Indeed, Ukrainian experts doubt that the legalization of the gambling business will help to close the halls with slot machines and computers with virtual roulette. Today they are open everywhere in Ukraine. Unfortunately, they are often located near schools, in residential buildings. Taking advantage of the gaps in Ukrainian legislation, they operate under the guise of a lottery business legalized in Ukraine.
The question is also whether the gaming business will want to move exclusively to the Black Sea region, buy expensive licenses and pay taxes on white. In general, Ukraine is not Monaco yet. Besides, it is unlikely, according to Dmitry Yablonovsky, Deputy Executive Director of the Kyiv Center for Economic Strategy, that the gambling business can be pulled out of the shadows. However, Mr. Zelensky believed in his new project of the Eastern European Las Vegas. Indeed, in recent years gambling community has been actively developed in the country. Let’s remember the Ukrainian Gaming Week. Even the Melbet Casino is welcoming all the willing players. Keep up the good work, Ukraine!