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Parliament passes bill strengthening gambling oversight in first reading

by Martin Fornusek April 24, 2024 1:46 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's parliament building, the Verkhovna Rada. (Getty Images)
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Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, supported in the first reading on April 24 a bill strengthening the state's oversight over the gambling business, lawmaker Oleksii Honcharenko said.

The negative social impacts of gambling are increasingly becoming a topic of public discussion as a petition demanding restrictions on online gambling reached the president's table in March.

The bill, which was backed by 272 lawmakers in today's vote, was submitted already back in May 2023. It has to pass the second reading and be signed by the president before becoming law.

The bill proposes to abolish the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries and pass its responsibilities to the Digital Transformation Ministry.

Other measures included further restrictions on online gambling games, a ban on advertising, finding tools to safeguard particularly vulnerable categories of the population, and tightening business control measures.

The bill also proposes guidelines and conditions for canceling licenses, as well as other steps to lift the standards of gambling enterprises.

Gambling was officially banned in Ukraine in 2009 until its legalization in 2020.

In the first two months of 2024, the gambling business in Ukraine paid Hr 2.2 billion ($56 million) in taxes, and Hr 10.4 billion ($267 million) in 2023, according to Danylo Hetmantsev, the chairman of the parliamentary Finance Committee.

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on April 20 counteracting the negative effects of online gambling, banning it for the military until the end of martial law.

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