Gambling bill expected ‘in the next few days’ by Ukrainian government

After completing a ten-year ban of gambling across the Ukraine, the newly-elected governor has committed to adopting a new gambling legislation by the end of this year, with plans to submit legislation to Parliament ‘in the coming days’.

In June of this year, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky instructed his Cabinet of Ministers to draft a new bill by the first of October, which would ensure the legislation of gambling, with plans to then adopt the legislation by December 1, 2019.

A draft budget for 2020 has since been presented in the Ukrainian Parliament by the Minister of Finance of Ukraine Oksana Markarova, which prioritises legalised gambling.

According to Vladimir Groysmanm, who is secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, said the business surrounding gambling in the Ukraine is operating “in the shadows” and that Parliament has the opportunity to change this.

30 September saw the Prime Minister, Alexi Goncharuk confirm that Ministers are now prepared to submit a bill to Parliament in the coming days, where they have explained that gambling would only be permitted at hotels:

“We want the slot machines to disappear from the streets, so the government developed a bill on behalf of the President,” he said. “Yesterday, we voted for it, and in the coming days – today or tomorrow – it will be submitted to parliament.”

Speaking to Ukrainian media outlet Ukrinform, Parimatch CEO Sergey Portnov has expressed that he actively supported the lifting of the ban on gambling.

He noted: “We are pleased that current and modern regulatory standards that will be created for the Ukrainian market at the legislative level, which will introduce clear, balanced rules for market players, the state and consumers.

“Parimatch is interested and supports the adoption of a systematic liberal law that will create an equal and transparent environment for all market participants. Thanks to many years of extensive international experience, our knowledge and expertise can be useful in an open dialogue between lawmakers, lawyers, experts and other participants in the process. We are as open as possible to this dialogue.”

The introduction of a gambling bill is expect to replenish the state budget by 2-2.5 billion UAH according to Goncharuk: “If we are talking about the revenue side of the budget, we expect that we will receive about 2-2.5 billion UAH due to the legalization of gambling in the budget. But we must also consider, we must understand what law will be adopted.”

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