All gambling establishments in Ukraine will be closed until 16:00 on December 20 – order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine

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After the failure of the bill on the legalization of the gambling business in Ukraine due to the insufficient number of votes in the Verkhovna Rada, the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov issued a decree on the closure of gambling establishments operating illegally on the territory of Ukraine. As part of the state decree on the fight against gambling, the National Police began the immediate closure of any kind of lottery and gambling clubs with confiscation of property until 16:00 on December 20, 2019.

Radical measures were taken at the initiative of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who expressed dissatisfaction with the results of the Verkhovna Rada’s vote on the bill. According to the president, this situation is caused by covering up someone’s private business interests. “Don’t want to play by transparent rules? Don’t want to work in a civilized manner and pay to the budget? Well, let’s do it differently. Starting today, we will immediately close all gambling halls,” Zelensky said. Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk clarified that the government had adopted a resolution banning gambling business under the guise of state lotteries. Online lotteries will also not be able to use their electronic systems. According to the operational actions of the National Police of Ukraine, on the night of December 20, the work of 152 gambling establishments was stopped, which are now illegal. Property worth UAH 46,000,000 was confiscated from the clubs. On social networks, Avakov categorically stated “Stop the roof therapy of casinos and gaming salons under the guise of lotteries!”. The minister noted that the police are tired of constantly standing guard over cunningly wise gambling and lottery schemes that allow illegal gambling business with millions of turnovers to bypass the state budget through shady decisions and expertise. The resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers will allow to stop any kind of compromises and conflicts and completely cut off the functioning of all “lottery” gambling salons, first in Kyiv, and later throughout Ukraine. As you know, on December 19, the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada submitted to the vote a bill on the legalization of the gambling business in Ukraine, which provides for the opening of a casino only in 3, 4 and 5-star hotels, after obtaining a gambling license. However, for its adoption in the first reading, there were not enough votes, in connection with which the bill was sent for revision. According to government calculations, annual cash receipts to the state budget from legally operating gambling business can reach from 2 to 2.5 billion hryvnias. For comparison, according to analysts, global revenues from the gambling business amount to about $130 billion a year, of which about $14 billion. dollars earn the largest casinos in Las Vegas. In Georgia, where the gambling business is legal but strictly regulated, casino income is about $2.2 billion. It is worth noting that 56% of Ukrainians surveyed by the Kyiv Institute of Sociology have a negative attitude towards the legalization of the gambling business.

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