Ukraine Is Opening New Casinos Again

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It seems that Ukraine, with a change in the supreme leadership, is ready to return gambling. It is assumed that they will earn money in upscale casinos in hotels as soon as legislative changes are introduced. According to Ukrainian media reports, the bill on the legalization of gambling has already been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. 

The state is taking a new step, bringing the gambling sphere closer to the European model. The changes are about to close all the slot halls in the country, but at the same time open land-based casinos. At the same time, it is planned to open gaming complexes in tourist areas and large cities. At the moment, we are talking about the casinos work exclusively on the hotels basis. 

In August 2023, President Vladimir Zelensk—Éy approached the Cabinet of Ministers with an initiative to create a bill to legalize casino business in Ukraine. Recall that in the country in 2009, as in Russia, all casinos were outlawed. And if in the Russian Federation gambling establishments got a chance to move to gambling zones, then in Ukraine they were completely prohibited. 

This full text of the bill on gambling is not made public, so there is no exact data on the gambling establishments rules. But it is known that the Cabinet has already shared some details. It is well known that gambling will be allowed exclusively on the hotels basis. In this case, gambling operators will be required to use equipment and software that meets international standards. 

The government is fighting illegal slot rooms scattered throughout Ukraine. Prime Minister Alexei Goncharuk said that it is necessary to amend the law on slots, which often work near pawnshops. This scheme causes financial difficulties for socially unprotected layers of the population due to the unregulated slot rooms status. 

Although the content of the bill is still in progress, Goncharuk said that the main focus was on clearing the country of illegal places with gambling. That is why it is planned to introduce zones for placing casinos in hotels, and in high-class hotels. The gambling establishments work will be strictly regulated, and lotteries will undergo control. 

According to public opinion polls, almost half of the public support the gambling legalization. 47% of respondents over the age of 18 think that gambling should be allowed, and only 34% are against legalization. 

Under the new laws, bookmakers who want to act legally must pay a license fee of 416 thousand to 1.3 million pounds. The size will depend on the organization location. 

International gaming operators have already turned their eyes to Ukraine, as this is one of the few places in Europe where you can build a gambling business from scratch. 

Storm International, previously a leading Russian casino operator in Russia, which left the market in 2009 and started work in other European countries, turned its interest to Ukraine. Darren Keane, Storm International Managing Director, shared his thoughts on the upcoming change in law. 

Mr. Keane expresses pleasure on behalf of the company that the new Ukrainian government has so actively taken up the development of rules for the gaming sector. Storm International has been waiting for this for several years. After the adoption of reasonable laws, all participants in the process will benefit, from directly the players and tourists, ending with representatives of business and the state itself. In practice, many countries have verified that the ban does not work, it only creates problems, as there are problems with the shadow business and corruption. 

Since Storm International is a market leader in the post-Soviet space, after the advent of the legislative framework in Ukraine, the company will look for ways to create its own business in this country. Today, in all divisions of the holding, casinos in Tbilisi, Minsk, Yerevan and Riga, Ukrainian citizens work, they had to look for work outside their homeland. Soon they will get a chance to work at home, Darren Keane and Storm International believe that they will be happy to return to motherland and work there.

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