: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Ukraine promises IMF to legalize gambling by 2018


Ukraine`s government has promised to start earning increased revenue from legal gambling by next year, according to the Ukrainian government`s letter of intent to IMF chief Christine Lagarde, detailing the country`s plans to reform its economy in order to qualify for $17.5 billion in financial assistance, according to CalvinAyre.

The letter, which was signed by the country`s president, prime minister, finance minister and national bank president (although the latter abruptly quit on Monday), vowed to press ahead with plans to legalize gambling in the Ukraine, ”which will contribute additional revenue to the budget no later than 2018,” CalvinAyre reports.

In 2015, Ukraine introduced draft legislation that would have authorized land-based casinos, sports betting, a new national lottery and online gambling sites. The following year, the government suggested its gambling market could generate revenue of $1.5b per year, but gambling operators balked at the price of proposed license fees and the tax rates, and the legislation went nowhere.

In February, Finance Minister Aleksandr Danyliuk restated the government`s intention to bring gambling out of the shadows and into the light. The government believes its delays in opening up its gambling market means it has missed out on $370m on gambling tax revenue over the past two years.

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