Ukraine is battling illegal gambling while the government hopes to generate significant tax revenue from gambling legalization.
Ukraine’s Chief of the Financial, Tax and Customs Policy Committee, Danylo Getmantsev, has said that for the national budget 2020, regulated gambling market would generate about UAH 4.5 billion, or US$188.8 million in tax revenues.
Speaking to Radio NV in an interview, Getmanstev was confident that gambling legalization will boost the state’s revenue and he said that it would also restrict illegal gambling operations in the country.
“The Finance Ministry estimates that the state is expected to receive UAH 4.5 billion from gambling this year. The bill [on the legalization of gambling] will not be of benefit to institutions that are operating illegally today,” he explained.
The lawmaker also said that as per the existing draft bill which allows gambling only at five-star hotels in Ukraine will remain intact. The opposition has been critical of the government’s move to legalize gambling only at five-star hotels.
Last year, on December 19, 2019, the gambling legalization bill (draft law No. 2285) failed to gain ample support and therefore was not approved by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.
However, the government remains firm in its commitment to legalize gambling and after the bill failed to get approved in the parliament, the government launched a crackdown on illegal gambling operations in the country.
Ukraine’s Cabinet ordered the police and the Tax Service authorities to clean up the illegal gambling operations and shut all shops offering betting and gambling services under the garb of the lottery.
Just two weeks after the bill failed to gather ample support, on January 3, another bill seeking an amendment to the country’s tax code was introduced. The bill calls for bringing the effective tax rate on gambling operations down to 10 percent from 18 percent.