The government of Ukraine announced its intentions to introduce legalised gambling industry, boost the local economy and start earning from revenue by next year.
The Ministry officials sent a letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to detail the new plan. Ukraine is trying to assure IMF that the country is worthy to receive a financial assistance worth $17.5 billion, needed to reform the economy.
Ukraine has already received $1 billion last week, but following a review on the condition of the country’s economy, the IMF warned that it “must break the legacy of weak governance and stop-and-go reforms” in order to generate sustainable growth.
All gambling and betting serviced were prohibited in Ukraine in 2009. Back in 2015 Ukraine tried to authorise gambling in the country. A draft legislation was introduced which proposed opening the market to land-based casinos, sports betting and online gaming. However, legalisation of such activities is yet to take place.
It is estimated that legalised gambling market, the ability to tax gambling activities could bring to Ukraine an additional $1.5 billion per year. It is still not clear what kind of gambling forms Ukraine plans to legalise by next year.
In the meantime, transformation of Ukraine’s annexed Crimea peninsular into a ‘gambling zone’ for Russia is moving forward.
The new zone, according to Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov, is designed to avoid international economic sanctions imposed on Russia after it seized control of the territory.
“There are certain arrangements that will make it possible [for investors] to bypass the sanctions,” Aksyonov commented. “I will keep quiet about such secrets for now; nobody will agree to invest in this project if there were doubts this plan might not work.”