On December 20, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky wrote in Facebook that he knew who is responsible for the failure of the parliamentary voting on the draft of law on gambling business legalization.
“Yesterday Verkhovna Rada failed to adopt the law on legalization of gambling business. We know who is standing behind it. You don’t want to play by the transparent rules? You don’t want to work in civilized manner and pay taxes? Well, there is another way. Starting from today we immediately close all gambling halls. Think about.” – reads his post.
Last August Zelensky announced plans to legalize gambling in Ukraine by permitting casinos to operate in 5-star hotels. On September 2, he instructed Verkhovna Rada to adopt a draft of law on gambling business legalization before December 1, 2019.
Minister of Finance of Ukraine Oksana Markarova had said that incomes from gambling business legalization were estimated to make from 5 to 9 billion hryvnias per year.
On December 19, Rada failed to vote for the draft of law №2285-d on gambling business. Members of parliament decided to send the draft of law “On state regulation of gambling organizing and conducting activities” to the relevant committee to be prepared for repeated first reading.
On December 20, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine issued a ban order against illegal gambling business that had been operating disguised as state lottery distributors. According to that order Arsen Avakov, Minister of Internal Affairs, instructed National police of Ukraine to cease functioning of all gambling halls in Ukraine by 16.00 on December 20, 2019.