The Ukrainian parliament may soon start discussing a new bill that could reintroduce legalized gambling in Ukraine. If the bill is passed by the parliament, the country’s three, four- and five-star hotels will be allowed to introduce slot machines in their premises.
New bill could curb gambling
The Ukrainian government suggests that the introduction of the new gambling bill will help in reducing the number of gambling operators in the country. The bill will also come with gaming equipment regulation. The government tax office will introduce a mandatory verification system. The bill, staying in line with the changing regulatory scene in Europe, also plans to introduce certification for all gambling equipment and larger penalties and fines for places running unlicensed gambling arenas.
A government portal wrote,
“Among other things, a draft law on the legalization of gambling in Ukraine was endorsed, which stipulates that gambling will be conducted in hotels only, with the use of gambling equipment with software that meets international standards.”
The government plans to use gambling taxes on culture and sports medicine. The main theme behind the bill is to limit the spread of gambling and curb illegal gambling. The new effort could make the government add $154.7 million to its budget. However, the final figures will depend entirely on the final version of the bill which will be passed by the parliament.
A boost to tourism?
The bill was approved by Ukrainian president Volodymyr last month. He said that the bill could be instrumental in boosting tourism in the country. In Kyiv, hotels interested in getting gambling licenses to operate slot machines will need at least 200 rooms. In other towns, the minimum requirement will be of 150 rooms.
This recent bill in the parliament, if passed, will undo the 2009 decision which made all forms of gambling illegal in Ukraine, while allowing only state-run gambling shops to continue operating. The decision came after an incident in a Dnipropetrovsk slot parlor which led to the death of nine people. Gambling operators didn’t stop working in Ukraine. Instead, they just hid behind lotteries and continued operating illegally. The country doesn’t have any regulations for online gambling.
It is unclear if the new bill will provide a regulatory framework for online gambling or not. Prima facie, it appears to be a bill designed only to bring regulated gambling to hotels in the country.