lexander Kokhanovskyy, the new owner of the hotel, who bought it from the state for $41 million in July 2020, has been requesting a casino license since December. Kyiv’s central Dnipro Hotel was denied casino permission by Ukraine’s gambling and the lottery commission due to paperwork issues, reported Nashi Groshi, an investigative website.
When Kokhanovskyy bought the venue he said he’d turn it into the first place in Europe dedicated entirely to competitive video gaming, according to the Kyiv Post. “It has nothing to do with online casinos or bookmaking. And only people who do not understand this at all can confuse these two things,” said Kokhanovskyy back then.
Since the gambling market was legalized just before the esports entrepreneur bought the hotel, Kokhanovskyy has changed his mind over offers to open a casino on the hotel’s premises.
Kokhanovskyy stated: “The (gambling) market has become absolutely legal, and we have received five really good offers to rent an area within the Dnipro Hotel to open a casino. We’ve decided to do that. Meanwhile, it’s not changing the concept in any way. The hotel he envisioned was supposed to be a venue dedicated to esports, where teams or individuals play against each other for prize money in front of millions of viewers watching online and offline."
Kokhanovskyy plans to submit a new demand for a casino license to the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries. He didn’t disclose the name of his potential partners, saying that he’s still negotiating.
Since the beginning of 2021, the commission has already issued 18 licenses for $20 million in total including seven high-end hotels in Kyiv such as the Fairmont Hotel overlooking the Dnipro River.
The commission denied the request of the Dnipro Hotel because, in the application, its management wrote a wrong address and gave insufficient information about the space that will be used for slot machines. A hotel must have 300 square meters to open a hall with slot machines.
“Just a few mistakes that should be fixed,” Kokhanovskyy explained to the Kyiv Post.
The Dnipro Hotel is a four-star hotel, under the law, gambling halls are only permitted in five-star hotels, recreation sites outside city limits, or gambling buildings approved by the government. To open a casino, businesses also have to buy a license valid for five years. Depending on the city and building type, the cost can vary. Every year, the casino must also pay $30,500 for each game table and over $2,000 for each slot machine.