Ukraine President orders legalisation of gambling industry

As part of an attempt to boost tourism in the territory, the president of Ukraine has instructed the government to legalise the gambling industry.

Ukraine.- The government and parliamentary majority of Ukraine have been instructed by President Volodymyr Zelensky to develop and implement laws to legalise gambling in the country. He wants these rules to be in place before December 1, 2020.

In a meeting with members of the Cabinet of Ministers, Verkhovna Rada leadership and law enforcement officials, the President ordered the officials to start measures to legalise gambling in Ukraine.

“Concerning measures to remove the economy from the shadows: to prepare bills on the legalisation of the gambling industry and legalisation of amber production and submit them to the parliament. The deadline is October 1, 2019.”

“The officials in charge: Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk and Finance Minister Oksana Markarova. Adopt laws on the legalisation of the gambling industry and legalisation of amber production. The deadline: December 1, 2019. The officials in charge: [Verkhovna Rada Chairman] Dmytro Razumkov and [Head of the Servant of the People parliamentary faction] David Arakhamia,” he added.

The president had already expressed his interest

“We will legalise gambling, particularly casinos’ operation in five-star hotels. This [step] will stimulate the development of a tourism cluster and region on the Black Sea coast,” he said last month.

Zelensky talked about the casino industry during the Ukraine-Turkey business forum in Istanbul. He said that instead of seeing Turkey as a competitor, he wants to take the Turkish businesses as partners. “Let us jointly promote the tourism brand of the Black Sea across the world,” he told Turkish investors.

Ukraine banned gambling in 2009, but gambling businesses still operate without contributing to taxes. Therefore, they don’t bring revenues to the national budget. The Finance Ministry said that gambling could bring approximately US$200 million to the budget. However, experts believe that more that Ukraine could perceive more than US$400 million if they legalise gambling.

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