The President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky on Friday issued a statement in which he issued an ultimatum to the “shady business”, reports TASS.
“Yesterday, the Verkhovna Rada failed the law on legalization of gambling. We know who’s behind this – he wrote in his telegram channel. – You don’t want to play by transparent rules? Don’t want to work in a civilized manner and to pay to the budget? Well, let’s different. Today immediately close all game halls. Think…the same.”
On Friday, the Ministry of internal Affairs of Ukraine announced the closing from 16:00 local time all gambling in the country. Informing about this decision the Minister of internal Affairs Arsen Avakov referred to the relevant government decree.
“The decision of the Cabinet dictates to us that all gaming clubs, lottery and gambling establishments should be closed. Require the national police to 16:00 (17:00 GMT) on December 20 in accordance with the government decision to stop the operation of gambling establishments, ” he said.
It’s still early in the morning, there were reports about police raids. Head of Department of strategic investigation (JEM) of the police Vladimir Ocolit reported that last night the police have stopped the activities of 152 different objects of gambling business which was illegal. “The total estimated cost of the seized equipment is 46 million hryvnia (nearly $ 2 million).
Influential in the country, “gambling lobby” before the “failed” adoption of a bill on legalization of gambling. He has not scored the minimum required for the adoption of 226 votes.
In Ukraine, in 2009 the law on prohibition of gambling business. But in the end he just “faded”. The organizers receive profits, law enforcement officers reluctantly pursue violators and often cooperate with them, and the state will only lose, not getting any tax revenues.
The Minister of Finance Oksana Markarova said earlier that revenues from the legalization of gambling, according to forecasts, will be from 5 to 9 billion UAH (from 210 to 375 million dollars) per year. At the same time, the Antimonopoly Committee has announced the figures for actual volume of gambling market in Ukraine to 1 billion euros, and the Ukrainian mass media with reference to representatives of the “shadow” of the gambling industry assess the market in 2 – 3 billion dollars a year.
In August, President Vladimir Zelensky has announced plans to legalize in Ukraine gambling, namely to allow to open casinos in five-star hotels. On 2 September he instructed the Verkhovna Rada until December 1, 2019 to pass a bill.
The bill proposed to limit the number of licenses for gambling establishments, to establish a mandatory verification of the players at bets and check winnings in the online monitoring. It was also suggested to establish special gambling zones for casinos and slot machine halls: casino – area five-star hotels for slot machines – the hotels of three stars.