Over the years since the inception of the online casino industry, Ukraine has had a rollercoaster of a relationship with the business. ON the one hand, there are some very talented developers in that country, who have been instrumental in building some of the games that players love to play. However, there have also been a series of hacking incidents that have reportedly come from that area of the world so you can imagine there is a bad taste left in the mouth of some operators who have found themselves at the mercy of some ransomware.
One thing is clear about Ukrainians – they do love to gamble, despite the deck being stacked against them. There were once many land-based casinos in the region, which were frequented by Ukrainians who loved slot machines and table games. There were even some online gaming operators that were based in the country, supplying games to those that were able to access an internet connection. However, this was all about to change as the result of one incident.
Gambling Regulations in Ukraine
The incident in question was a fire that broke out in a casino in 2009 in eastern Ukraine. IN this fire, 9 people lost their lives, and it caused an immediate reaction from the government to close down all gambling facilities in the country until they could all be inspected. What happened next could never have been predicted – the government decided instead of re-opening the casinos to take this opportunity to ban all forms of gambling in the country. The Prohibition of Gambling Business in Ukraine bill was passed into law in late 2009, effectively shutting down the gambling industry except the National Lottery. This ban also took online casinos and sportsbooks into consideration, making it illegal to operate sites in Ukraine.
While this was a damaging blow to the players who loved gambling, it wasn’t long after when companies realized that there was no blocking of URLs happening from within Ukraine. This meant that a site could simply move offshore and still promote its games to Ukranian players, as is done in many of the grey market countries around the world. While the government moved to close these loopholes, there are still many sites which allow Ukrainians to play.
To date, we have yet to see any Ukranian player prosecuted for playing online casino games, and until that happens (which likely will never be the case) then we consider this market to be similar to the grey markets across the globe. Players can continue to play but should be wary of leaving too much money on a site in case of any closures.
Online Casino Software Available to Ukrainian Players
With the market being a mixed bag when it comes to legislation, it is really up to gambling sites and software providers to determine whether or not to open their doors to players from that region. This typically comes down to where a casino is licensed. The UK and Malta have heavy restrictions placed on operators regarding where they can and cannot offer their games. Jurisdictions like Alderney and Curacao are much more open to the grey market countries. Players from Ukraine will still find excellent software available in that country, such as the following providers:
- Play ‘N Go
- Leander Games
- Net Entertainment
As you can see, many excellent providers have hundreds of slots titles on their rosters, so Ukranian players will have access to very enjoyable games.
Best Online Casinos for Ukrainians
As we mentioned, the Ukraine has been part of many scams in the online casino industry, and that in itself causes some concern for operators who are thinking about accepting real-money bets from the country. When you are researching a site to play, it is a good idea to start with reading some reviews like the ones we offer here.
There, you will first find out if a site is available in Ukraine, which of course is the most important factor. Following that, you should be looking for a casino that matches your playing style. Whether it is the type of games you like to play or the stakes at which you play them, finding the right mix for you is the best way to ensure your experience will be positive (and hopefully profitable!). We have reviewed hundreds of casinos, and to make life a little easier for you we have compiled a list which includes a few online casinos that we would recommend to players from Ukraine. You can click on any of these links to read the detailed review of each site.