Ukraine’s parliament (the Rada) has moved to advance a gambling tax bill to a second reading following a failed attempt to pass the bill on a single vote. Bill 2713-d was first introduced by Committee Chair Oleg Murasyak in August of 2020 and has since been amended to include a flat tax rate of 10% on all forms of gambling.
Despite the latest amendments, the bill has yet to gain the required support for it to be passed into law.
The amended bill has removed an earlier proposal that would have seen license fees tripled for the duration of any transition periods or until the creation of a central regulatory body to oversee the gambling industry.
However, the license fee issue wasn’t the only obstacle that stood in the bill’s way. The Rada’s Scientific and Expert Management Committee has been critical of the idea of a gambling industry saying that it would put an unnecessary strain on the nation’s annual budget. The committee felt that the government may need to step in form time to time to offer support in the form of subsidies to make up for a potential funding shortfall in the sector. As a result, it wanted an even higher tax rate applied to the proposed legislation.
The committee’s arguments held some water with representatives as the bill narrowly failed to pass following a vote of 217-59 with 55 members abstaining. This meant that the bill fell just nine votes short of the minimum 226 votes required for approval. However, a second vote saw lawmakers vote in favor of sending the bill for a second reading by a margin of 229-58.
This gives supporters hope that legislation can be passed with some further amendments.