Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced that some gambling licenses may be granted for free to promote the construction of new hotels. Moreover, some gambling licenses will be issued at a lower price if a hotel expands the number of rooms.
Zelensky said: “We have five-star hotels in Ukraine, but they are very small. Thus, there is no way to open a casino there. We want hotels to be built. Perhaps if, for example, this is a boutique hotel, then maybe we will agree to give them licenses, which should cost a little less. If this is a very big brand hotel, we can give a license for free, just build us a hotel. The funds from the sale of licenses should go to sports, medicine or education.”
The president also provided further detail about the conditions needed for a license, stating that hotels in Kyiv applying for a gambling license will need at least 200 rooms, while hotels elsewhere will need at least 150.
Zelensky said the bill would be the 'first stage' of legalized gambling in Ukraine, suggesting that further regulation of the market may follow.
All gambling except state-run lotteries became illegal in Ukraine in 2009, after nine people were killed in a fire at a slots parlor in Dnipropetrovsk in the east of the nation, but the country has looked to reintroduce legal gambling since 2015, when a new bill to legalize and regulate gambling activities across the country was introduced.