Lawmakers have decided that poker is not a game of chance, therefore it is exempt from anti-gambling laws. Ukrainian lawmakers have listed poker in the Register of Recognized Sports after discussing whether it was a game of chance or not.
Now, the game has improved its chances to be offered in the country again.
The Ministry of Youth and Sport has listed the gambling activity as “sport poker”, which is an authorised sport. While it is still unclear whether new regulations will emerge this year or not, redefining poker as a sport seems like a huge first step towards a legalisation.
Poker was defined as gambling back in 2010, as a justice minister said after years of it being considered as a sport and being included in Ukraine’s official list of national sports. While it wasn’t under the same category as slot machines or other gambling modalities, the justice said that its characteristics were similar to several points included in the anti-gambling laws.
However, poker clubs challenged that decision and took the case to the Supreme Court, which sided with clubs but said that the decision only applied to tournaments, as regular poker games were still banned.