For the past decade, nearly all forms of gambling have been banned in Ukraine. It’s been disappointing for gambling fans looking to make a few wagers, and politicians that see the huge potential for revenue earnings through the gambling industry. Now, President Volodymyr Zelensky is working to make casino gambling in Ukraine legal once again.
Zelensky believes that legal casino gambling will help to bring more tourism to Ukraine. Now is the perfect time to look at the history of gambling in this country. We’ll also look at what’s being done to legalize casinos here. Let’s get into it!
Gambling has been taking place in Ukraine for centuries. Throughout the 20th century, most forms of gambling were legal here, yet with limited regulation. Casino gambling was legal until 2009.
That year, a massive fire broke out at the Metro Jackpot casino in Dnipropetrovsk that killed nine people. The government blamed the casino’s poor safety regulations and decided to crack down on the entire gambling industry. Legislation was passed months after the fire to ban all forms of gambling throughout the country.
It was a tough blow for both online and land-based gambling operators in the country. The ban on gambling meant that making wagers over the internet was prohibited. Despite this, many Ukrainians still choose to make bets through online gambling sites in Europe not regulated by the government.
In 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine submitted new legislation to allow casino gambling. For the past few years, no progress has been made to finally reopen the gambling industry here. Now, Ukraine’s president has stated that he intends to legalize casinos once again.
Volodymyr Zelensky is going all-in on the gambling industry. He clearly sees how effective casinos can be to promote tourism and generate revenue. At a recent Ukrainian-Turkish business forum, Zelensky stated that he intends to make casino gambling in Ukraine legal in the near future.
“We will legalize gambling, namely, the operation of casinos in five-star hotels, which will stimulate the development of the region’s tourism cluster near the Black Sea. We also want to grow together here. Therefore, we want to see Turkish businesses as our partners rather than competitors,” he said.
Tourism in Ukraine has been down for the past several years. Ongoing conflicts in the eastern portions of the country and political conflicts have cost the government millions. Legalization of the casino industry will help to significantly increase the number of visitors to the Black Sea area.
Reports now indicate that Ukraine’s budget will see a revenue increase of nearly $395 million with the legalization of casinos. Based on Zelensky’s comments, gambling will be made legal here within the next couple of years.
This is the question that many are now asking. President Zelensky has made no comments on internet gambling legalization. For now, it appears he’s only interested in making land-based casino establishments near Black Sea resort cities legal.
This may change in the near future. If Ukrainian lawmakers decide to legalize these casinos, there’s a good chance that online casinos will soon be legalized as well. It’s well-known that online gambling is growing more popular every year and brings in millions of dollars in annual revenue.
Many countries are now choosing to regulate their online gambling markets. Sweden, which for many years only allowed a state-run gambling website, now has a successful online gambling market that allows companies from all over Europe to operate in. Ukraine may soon do the same.
Are you excited to hear President Zelensky push to make casino gambling in Ukraine legal? Will online gambling become legal here soon? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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