Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced plans to legalize gambling in the country. He confirmed that he is in favor of allowing five-star hotels in the country to offer casino gambling.
Speaking at the Ukrainian-Turkish business forum in Istanbul, Zelensky said: “We will legalize gambling, namely the operation of casinos in five-star hotels, which will stimulate the development of the tourism cluster of the region near the Black Sea. Here we also want to grow together. Therefore, we want to see our partners in Turkey’s business, not rivals.”
Gambling was banned in Ukraine in 2009. After that, a draft legislation was approved in 2015 which called for authorizing land-based casinos and also sports betting and online gambling. However, the plans did not materialize. Again in 2017, similar plans surfaced but it could not progress any further.
Now, President Zelensky wants to authorize the development of “casinos in five-star hotels, which will stimulate the development of the tourism cluster” in the south of the country near the Black Sea.
With no regulated gambling market, the number of illegal gambling dens and operators have also been on the rise.
President Zelensky, a former comedian, was elected the President earlier this year in May.