While Ukraine is yet to legalize gambling, concerns about the risks of gambling addiction are gaining a voice.
Talking about gambling addiction, Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy Oleksandr Dubinsky said that the government should introduce criminal liability for promoting illegal gambling. He also favored the confiscation of property for offenders.
“In order to resolve this issue [to remove illegal gambling], we must do the following. The first is to ban all gambling centers on the streets – slot machines and casinos should be placed only in hotels. The second is to make sure that liability is as tight as possible. There should be three points of liability. One is to make sure that an article of the Criminal Procedure Code envisages imprisonment from five years for illegal gambling without a license.
Another is participation in promoting gambling business, such as providing premises or equipment for rent this is the confiscation of property, which is itself a good safeguard. Thirdly, if people performing state functions, i.e. officials or representatives of law enforcement agencies, are involved in the legalization of gambling business, then in such a case, there should be imprisonment from 12 years,” Dubinsky said.
Dubinsky also opined that all gambling centers on the street should be banned.
Recently, the Ukrainian parliament released the full text of the draft bill that calls for legalizing gambling.
The draft state budget for 2020 expects to raise UAH 3 billion in revenues from the sale of gambling licenses.
The state budget also allocates nearly 70 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the license (UAH 2 billion) to fund educational programs in the country.