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.