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GTI Global Network > News > International
New gambling market in Ukraine by 2018( 2017/09/04)

Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance had vowed to reintroduce gambling throughout the country with revenues to be generated by a new gaming market by next year.  It sent a letter, signed by the Prime Minister, to International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde, which stated: “We will legalize gambling which should provide additional revenues to the budget not later than in 2018.”  Gambling in Ukraine was banned in 2009 after a fire in a slot hall in Dnipropetrovsk left nine people dead.  The blanket ban came into force on June 25 when it was signed in President Viktor Yushchenko.  By July 20, 2009 over 500 illegal casinos and slots halls had been closed down with over 6,000 slot machines confiscated.  Legislation was introduced two years ago to once again legalize land-based casinos, sports betting, a national lottery and online gambling with the hope of generating revenues of $1.5bn per year.  A key part of the proposal was the development of gaming zones where hotels with at least a 4 star rating and 100 rooms could apply for a casino license.  The proposed law fell down though on the suggested license fees and tax rates, which were deemed too high by potential operators.  The government believes it has missed out on $370m on gambling tax revenue over the past two years.  The government’s letter to the IMF added: “We will refrain from any major tax cuts and will not introduce new tax exemptions and amnesty schemes.  We will substantially tighten the simplified tax regime from January 1, 2018, which provides a major loophole in our tax net.  We will also refrain from introducing preferential tax treatment - other than for local property taxes - for companies operating in industrial zones.”

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