Gambling in Ukraine: Updated Certification Standards, UX, and Customer Acquisition

Posted by Andrew Price
2WinPower Partner, owner of the gambling establishments network.
2021/07/29

Despite some loose ends in the legal framework, the Ukrainian gambling industry continues to grow rapidly. Several large international brands have already indicated their interest in entering the local market, including one of the most recognisable gambling corporations ― IGT.

Online and land-based casinos

The 2WinPower team constantly monitors market trends and is ready to tell you everything about them. Today, we are going to talk about:

  • changes in the program of technical assessment and control over the operation of gambling equipment;
  • modern methods of solving problems in the B2G sector;
  • UX experience of large gambling companies and their expectations from the Ukrainian market after the legalisation of casino games.

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Updated Conformity Assessment Norms and Certification of Gambling Equipment

One of the main innovations in the industry regulation program is the completion of the development and launch of full-fledged technical regulations. This document is considered the main basis for conducting technical research and monitoring the legality of using specific types of electrical and other equipment in gambling halls.

Provisions of the updated regulations apply to the following types of casino equipment:

  • slot machines;
  • card and roulette tables;
  • administrative online systems.

A separate clause of the regulations mentions that certification centres do not assess the quality and do not issue permits for claw machines (slot machines imitating ingot tong cranes).

Compliance with the technical regulations is mandatory for:

  • manufacturers of gambling equipment and their authorised representatives (residents of the country);
  • suppliers and importers of casino solutions;
  • representatives of the executive branch who are responsible for the regulation and control of the industry;
  • authorised conformity assessment bodies.

The list of organisations that have received the right to check and assess the conformity of equipment and gambling software (including online projects) has also been expanded.

Investors can apply for certification services by turning to:

  • Zaporizhzhia Scientific and Production Centre for Standardisation, Metrology, and Certification state enterprise;
  • Kyivstandartmetrologiya LLC;
  • Ukrainian State Centre of Radio Frequencies state enterprise;
  • Vinnytsia Research and Production Centre for Standardisation, Metrology, and Certification state enterprise;
  • Etalon LLC;
  • All-Ukrainian State Research and Production Centre for Standardisation, Metrology, Certification, and Consumer Rights Protection state enterprise;
  • All-Ukrainian Expert Service “Ukrexpertiza”.

After expanding the list of subjects of certification, preliminary prices for the provision of evaluation services were also announced:

  • Owners of gambling halls will have to pay about 50 thousand hryvnias for the examination of one unit of equipment.
  • Timing of the inspection ― 7–10 days.

We would like to remind you that an application for the opening of a representative office of the famous GLI agency was officially filed to the Ukrainian Gambling Commission. So far, the foreign company has not been added to the list of available certification centres but the situation can change in the very near future.

Despite the fact that the provisions of the new technical regulation entered into force, a program that allows for voluntary certification continues to operate in Ukraine.

Casino operators can contact the chosen organisation and order the provision of those services that they consider necessary for their projects.

Nuances of Interaction Between Gambling Business and the Government

Gambling business and the government: interaction

Respected industry expert Lasha Shikhashvili expressed his opinion on the formation of mutually beneficial relations in the B2G sector. He has been professionally developing complex online platforms and databases for the gambling segment for 10 years.

In the interview, the expert spoke about the value of transparent relationships between representatives of commerce and government agencies and emphasised that the speed of development of the industry and the ability to transform the local Ukrainian market into the international one directly depend on the quality of the administrative infrastructure.

The Malta offshore zone program was named an example of the most effective B2G relationship:

  • Once every 6 months or a year, government representatives meet with gambling market participants.
  • The event is supported by the Malta Gambling Licensing Commission.
  • During the meeting, current and future legal amendments to the market regulation, as well as possible ways to optimise the current system and expand the market are discussed.

As soon as Ukraine adopts the experience of foreign regulators, the local gambling business will propel to the next level.

Lasha Shikhashvili believes that the creation of the most functional database is the most effective way of working on the modern Ukrainian market. The more information on customers operators collect, the better the market optimisation will be.

About the Situation in the Financial Market of Ukraine

The current financial program deserves special attention. Today, Ukrainian operators have access to many payment services that act as intermediaries between the administration of gambling halls, users, and banks.

Direct interaction with local banking institutions has not yet been well managed since they did not have time to adapt to the market changes and review the existing fraud monitoring programs (risk evaluation algorithms and potential fraud on the part of gamblers).

As soon as banks modernise their transaction control systems, entrepreneurs will have at their disposal an additional financial instrument with a multi-million customer database.

So far, Lasha Shikhashvili judges various international online systems (Skrill, Neteller, etc.) to be the most convenient alternative.

About the Ukrainian Market of Foreign Gambling Brands

Ukrainian gambling market: opinion of foreign brands

Several reputable international companies have already indicated their interest in cooperation with Ukrainian casino owners. Among such enterprises, we can name:

IGT

Before the government placed a ban on gambling in 2009, the company was one of the most recognisable manufacturers of casino equipment in Ukraine. The developer supplied about 50% of all equipment for gambling halls in Kyiv and up to 20% for regional locations.

Today, with the opening of the market, IGT is ready not only to take up its previous positions but also to move into top gear.

The company’s representative office has already been opened in Kyiv. Moreover, the brand chose a rather striking slogan ― “The best ones come back” ― and passed a rebranding procedure. The new IGT logo is made in yellow and blue colours, which evokes associations with the Ukrainian flag.

The provider spends more than 190 million dollars annually on market research and development of new products and is ready to offer entrepreneurs and gamblers completely new concepts.

The authorised company representative, Lasha Gogiberidze, described several areas designed to improve the experience of Ukrainian users:

  1. Comprehensive support. IGT clients can count on all kinds of professional round-the-clock support ― from assistance with the supply of equipment to legal advice and warranty maintenance.
  2. Legal support. The brand is interested in transparent operation in the Ukrainian segment and is ready to supply products that fully comply with local standards.
  3. The flexibility of solutions. The company is ready to meet Ukrainian operators halfway and develop unique game mechanics and products that will attract the local audience.
  4. Willingness to experiment. The IGT representative announced the active development of a specialised product line that will interest Ukrainian users. The firm is ready to supply various types of software and equipment both for the capital and for the regions, taking into account their specific needs and requirements of the audience.
  5. Range of solutions. Today, the brand's catalogue includes 4 projects focused on Ukrainian gambling halls: lottery terminals, slot machines on various topics, end-to-end VLT control systems, and digital tools based on AI technologies. Sports betting platforms are presented in a separate line.

GameBridge

It is a domestic supplier that started working even before the casino business was completely banned. In 2009, the company began to conquer international markets, and with the opening of the Ukrainian sector in 2020, the brand returned to the country and now, it is ready to closely cooperate with local enterprises.

GameBridge specialisation and product line

Gaming tables

The brand specialises in the production, supply, and maintenance of card tables for poker rooms and gambling halls.

The company's representative, Vitaly Artyukh, announced that the enterprise is ready to support casino operators by providing them with a full range of services, including:

  • assistance in the certification of equipment;
  • support in the process of export/import of products;
  • development of an exclusive line of solutions in accordance with the design of the gambling hall;
  • guarantee maintenance

Tokens and other casino attributes

The developers competed with one of the largest gambling brands in the field of poker ― Matsui Company.

The Japanese provider offered exclusive dealer rights in exchange for the fact that the Ukrainian brand's product would not be promoted on the market.

GameBridge refused the offer and released a unique solution with self-destructive holograms. It has a unique security level that has no analogues

Live casino solutions

The manufacturer offers a wide range of products for live studios, from tables to exclusive orders for sewing croupier uniforms.

Moreover, the catalogue of the Ukrainian brand includes special chairs for dealers, which maintain a semblance that the dealer is standing but allows him to sit comfortably and quickly move between the involved gaming zones

The domestic brand decided to start working on the Ukrainian market with the presentation of another unique solution.

In the very near future, an innovative “smart” poker table will appear in the supplier's catalogue. This is a pilot project, similar to earlier developments in the format of electronic gaming tables.

The new product will have a classic design but the “filling” of the table will allow the casino administration to keep records of all funds received from the equipment in real-time.

Special sensors that are capable of assessing the value of tokens that appear on the table and instantly transmitting information to an authorised person will be placed under the cloth.

The Main Things about the Development of the Ukrainian Gambling Market

The legal framework of the local gambling sector continues to improve. Several international brands have already shown their interest in entering the Ukrainian market.

  • The legislator announced the adoption of the final version of the technical regulation. The document entered into force in July 2020 and has made it possible to optimise the entire casino equipment certification program.
  • Entrepreneurs can take advantage of the voluntary certification program. Although the technical regulations have been adopted, operators can contact the authorised bodies and order certain services that are relevant specifically for their projects.
  • Some foreign suppliers are ready to enter the Ukrainian market. It was announced by the world-famous brand ― IGT. The company created the logo in blue and yellow colours. GameBridge, the domestic provider, has also shown its interest.
To learn more about changes in the legal framework, the specifics of certification of equipment for land-based casinos, and options for launching an online casino taking into account UX requirements, please contact the specialists of the 2WinPower studio.

We know everything about the most interesting market innovations and are ready to help you with the implementation of a gambling project of any level of complexity.

From us, it is also possible to order the development of a turnkey casino. The gaming site will be designed in accordance with all your preferences and current UX requirements.

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Contact us to order the best products and services for your gambling business!

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