New gambling bill ordered by president of Ukraine

President of Ukraine, has commissioned the country’s new government to pass laws to legalise gambling by the end of this year as part of a range of measures designed to stimulate the economy.

In a meeting with leaders of the new parliament, following July’s election, Volodymyr Zelensky said gambling legislation must be drafted by 1 October. The documents should be approved by 1 December, he added.

A statement by the president’s office said the regulation of gambling is important to his strategy of “de-shadowing the economy”.

Ukraine operators have not been able to offer any gambling or betting services since prohibition which was introduced in 2009.

The country is believed to be nurturing a thriving black market, after economists estimated in 2017. This potential tax revenue of $1.5bn could be raised through regulation.

Several attempts have been made to regulate gambling in the years since, with a draft gambling bill that proposed opening the market to land-based casinos, sports betting and online gaming, which was introduced in 2015.

In 2017, the country’s government said it would reintroduce a legalised gambling system into the country, bu the end of 2018, but progression failed.

President Zelensky said last month that he would move forward a plan for the legalisation of casino gambling at major hotels. The move aims to encourage development in the tourist-heavy Black Sea region.

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