Tribunal in The Hague finds Ukraine liable for indirect expropriation of gambling business


Re: Olympic Entertainment Group v Ukraine PCA Case No. 2019-18

An international tribunal (Neil Kaplan CBE QC SBS, Michael Pryles AO, Christopher Thomas QC) constituted under the Estonia-Ukraine Bilateral Investment Treaty, has ruled in favour of Olympic Entertainment Group in its dispute with Ukraine.

The case concerned the prohibition of gambling operations in Ukraine in 2009. The Claimant argued that the enactment of the Gambling Ban Law constituted an unlawful expropriation of the Claimant’s investments. In response, Ukraine argued that the ban was a legitimate exercise of its police powers and thus not a breach of international law. The tribunal concluded that the 2009 Gambling Ban was a disproportionate measure therefore not a valid exercise of the police powers doctrine. The tribunal also found that the measure destroyed the value of the Claimant’s investments thus amounted to an indirect expropriation in violation of the BIT. The tribunal also rejected Ukraine’s illegality objection to its jurisdiction, and found that the alleged illegality was unrelated to the investment.

Luis Gonzalez Garcia was involved in this case.


Link to the decision is here: