The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine placed on the immediate agenda the draft law "On State regulation of gambling activity in Ukraine", which predicts a possible legalization of casinos in the territory of the country as early as next year.
Experts believe that if the amendments approved, gambling business may deliver from 7 to 9 billion hryvnya (approximately 276 – 300 million dollars) to the State budget.
It should be mentioned that gambling is prohibited on the territory of Ukraine since 2009. However, as it was stated by CEO of the Ukrainian Association of Gaming Industry, Irina Sergienko, this spring Ukrainian government made a promise to the IMF to legalize gambling business, which should happen no later than 2018.
Thus, it will be necessary for parliamentarians to shortly consider a series of amendments in order to ensure the fulfillment of commitments defined in the memorandum with the IMF. In accordance with it, legalization of gambling business is necessary to overcome the deficit of the State budget of Ukraine. Otherwise, the next tranche of funding programmed by the IMF could be frozen, which would entail heavy economic consequences.
During the stricture against the casino in Ukraine, the Verknovna Rada has received a total of 30 documents designed to regulate the gambling industry. One of the last attempts was made by the Cabinet of Ministers six months ago; however, no definitive decision was taken.
As expected, one of the innovations will be the opportunity to open casinos on the territory of hotel resorts providing 100 and more rooms. In addition, gambling establishments may operate on board ships, in airport terminals and racetracks, as well as in separate buildings.
The law requires to inform visitors that gambling may lead to mental dependence.
The idea of legalization is actively supported by the participants of the hotel business and representatives of gambling. They have engaged in a long dialog with the government and believe that it is finally time to bring the casino back to Ukraine.