On July 22, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that CMS Kyiv had helped Stakelogic obtain a B2B supplier license from the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries in Ukraine. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Stakelogic CEO Stephan van den Oetelaar to learn more about the matter.
CEEIHM: To start, tell us a bit about Stakelogic and its activities in Ukraine.
Stephan: Stakelogic is an online slot games developer and supplier. At this moment Stakelogic operates 150 casino games for 500 online casino’s around the world. Stakelogic employs 150 staff and has offices in 6 countries. At the end of 2021, Stakelogic will start its operations in the US. In 2018 Stakelogic published its IT vacancies on international recruitment sites. Ukrainian game designers and software developers, with excellent resumes, responded. As a result, at the beginning of 2019 Stakelogic started contracting the first Ukraine developers. Today Stakelogic employs about 50 staff in Ukraine and has its office in the Gulliver Business Center in the center of Kyiv.
CEEIHM: What does the B2B supplier license entail and why was it needed for Stakelogic to obtain it?
Stephan: The provision of remote gaming software in Ukraine is regulated – both the supplier and operator are required to hold remote gaming licenses issued by the Ukrainian regulator. Once Stakelogic obtained its local B2B license, it was allowed to enter into contracts with online casino websites operators holding B2C licenses in Ukraine. This way, both parties are able to conduct their business in accordance with local regulations in Ukraine.
CEEIHM: What did the process of applying for the license entail – what did you handle in-house and what aspects of it did you delegate to CMS?
Stephan: The process of applying entailed the joint efforts of the legal department of Stakelogic and external counsel from CMS law firm. Stakelogic’s legal department ensured preparation, legalization, and apostilles by the Dutch Court on the documents related to the Stakelogic company group. Considering that the parent company and UBO’s of the applicant company are based in the Netherlands (headquarters of the Stakelogic company group), it was easier for Stakelogic to handle the described matters locally. CMS took care of the translation and legalization of the documents in Ukraine. They also submitted the documents to the regulator and supervised the application process to the moment the license was granted to Stakelogic Ukraine LLC.
CEEIHM: What was the most complex and/or lengthy part of the process from your perspective?
Stephan: We were actually very pleased with the efficiency of the whole licensing process. After having the first meeting with CMS to discuss the list of required documents, it took around one month for Stakelogic's legal team to complete the collection and submission of the documents. Afterward, once again it took just a bit over a month for Stakelogic to be granted the license. Considering this, we are glad to acknowledge that Stakelogic and CMS cooperated very well to receive the Ukrainian license in a significantly short term and with no further complications.
CEEIHM: Lastly, why did you choose CMS as your advisor on this matter?
Stephan: In 2019 Ukraine was a "foreign country" for Stakelogic. Therefore Stakelogic looked for legal advice from an international law firm that could help to build business operations in Ukraine. The relationship with CMS started in Kyiv, where CMS Partner Olga Belyakova took ownership over the Stakelogic account. CMS established the legal entity, organized accountancy services, drafted (Ukrainian) contracts, handled bank matters, and provided legal and fiscal advice. Initially, Stakelogic only operated a software development center in Ukraine. As the Ukraine authorities announced to regulate the online gambling market, CMS immediately informed Stakelogic and offered its legal services to help Stakelogic to apply for the Ukraine online B2B gambling license.
With the support of CMS, Stakelogic managed to obtain the Ukraine B2B gambling license as one of the first game suppliers in Ukraine.