MP Dubinsky voices plan to combat illegal gambling

MP Dubinsky voices plan to combat illegal gambling

Ukraine should introduce criminal liability for doing or promoting illegal gambling business, together with confiscation of property, Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy Oleksandr Dubinsky has said.

He stated this at a roundtable session at Ukrinform regarding the legislative regulation of the organization and conduct of gambling in Ukraine, according to the agency's correspondent.

"In order to resolve this issue [to remove illegal gambling], we must do the following. The first is to ban all gambling centers on the streets - slot machines and casinos should be placed only in hotels. The second is to make sure that liability is as tight as possible. There should be three points of liability. One is to make sure that an article of the Criminal Procedure Code envisages imprisonment from five years for illegal gambling without a license. Another is participation in promoting gambling business, such as providing premises or equipment for rent – this is the confiscation of property, which is itself a good safeguard. Thirdly, if people performing state functions, i.e. officials or representatives of law enforcement agencies, are involved in the legalization of gambling business, then in such a case, there should be imprisonment from 12 years," Dubinsky said.

According to him, starting January 1 next year, all gambling centers on the streets should be banned, and the granting of licenses to them should be postponed for six or 12 months.

"That is, let them prepare, form the market, get a license, and only then they can start this [legal gambling] market from January 1, 2021, when the clause on the criminalization and confiscation of property has been working for a year," Dubinsky said, adding that gambling centers can be removed from the streets only by banning lotteries for a transitional period.

On October 18, the Verkhovna Rada registered government-proposed draft law No. 2285, "On the State Regulation of Activity in the Sphere of Organization and Conduct of Gambling." Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the Verkhovna Rada to adopt a law on the legalization of gambling by December 1, 2019. Zelensky said during a media marathon that the money due to come from the legalization of gambling business would be spent on sports, medicine, and education.

The government believes that the legalization of gambling in Ukraine can supplement the state budget by more than UAH 3 billion.


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