New plans get the go-ahead
Plans to overhaul the current ban on gambling in Ukraine are going forward thanks to a new draft budget by the country’s government.
one of the issues Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky campaigned on
A gambling ban has existed for the past ten years, and overturning it was one of the issues Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky campaigned on. Earlier in the summer, he gave permission for a new draft bill to be released by October 1, 2019, which would allow legislative adoption by the end of the year.
Draft budget prioritizes gambling
Ukraine’s new 2020 draft budget released on September 30 prioritizes legalized gambling, with a bill ready to submit in the coming days.
In a statement, Prime Minister Alexi Goncharuk gave some indication of what the landscape would look like, with gambling in Kiev only permitted in hotels with over 200 rooms. Smaller hotels with at least 120 rooms in cities such as Odessa and Lviv would also be permitted. He said: “We want the slot machines to disappear from the streets, so the government developed a bill on behalf of the President.”
the reach could go much further to include online gambling, sports betting
However, a leaked draft report by news outlet ePravda shows that the reach could go much further to include online gambling, sports betting, and a new regulatory gambling body overseen by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Slots halls could also be in the cards as long as they are not near schools, hospitals, or churches. There would be a nationwide cap of 40,000 slot machines in place, with no more than 250 allowed in any one venue.
Increase in country’s revenue
Goncharuk also confirmed how much revenue the proposed new licensing laws would bring. He estimated the figure to vary from between 2bn UAH ($81m) to 2.5bn UAH ($101m), depending on the final law adopted. The country already legalized poker in August last year.
Vladimir Groysman, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, has claimed that Ukraine’s current gambling business is “operating in the shadows”, and that now parliament would be able to change this.