Ukraine’s president supports gambling makeover

Addressing national media, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has underlined confidence in delivering comprehensive regulatory frameworks, which will “remove gambling’s history from the streets”.

In late September, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved the government’s new Action Program, which includes a draft law that would legalise gambling in the country.

Zelensky and the Cabinet seek to eliminate illegal slot machines and underground gambling activities, as an overriding decree of a novice government that won Ukraine’s 2019 General Election on a strong anti-corruption stance.

Also, Zelensky has expressed his support for the introduction of gambling at licenced five-star hotels. Some gambling licenses could also be issued at a lower price if a hotel expands the number of rooms.

“We have five-star hotels on the market, but they are very small,” he explained. “There is no way to build a casino yet. We need to test how people will fight for these licenses. We want hotels to be built.”

Ukraine’s President has also backed his cabinet stance that gambling funds should be attributed to supporting education, healthcare and sports networks.

“We need to build playgrounds and swimming pools in schools this year. Let’s give all this money for a licence to sports,” Zelensky said.

According to the experts, the legalisation of the gambling business in Ukraine can additionally bring up to 10 billion UAH (400 million USD) per year to the treasury.

Ukraine has been operating under the ‘Prohibition of Gambling Law’ since 2009, with lottery operators Patriot, MSL and UNL the only ones legally allowed to offer its services in the country.

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