Kharkiv business leader says Ukraine's illegal gambling industry is currently worth around half a billion dollars annually
The owner and president of the DCH Group, Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, has spoken out in favor of legalizing the gambling business in Ukraine and called on President Poroshenko to support the relevant legislative initiatives. "I would like to take this opportunity to address Boris Lozhkin, Secretary of the National Investment Council, and give him a letter for Peter Alekseevich Poroshenko asking him to support the initiative on gambling. We know that the issue has been considered by the Ukrainian parliament for a long time."
Mr. Yaroslavsky's comments came during Kharkiv's flagship International Economic Forum on 22 September. He argued that the legalization of the gambling business would bring much needed additional revenues to the state budget. "The main goal is to get the industry out of the shadows so that this money does not end up in the pockets of corrupt officials and criminal elements. Legalization is part of the fight against corruption while also attracting funds to the state budget.We know that at present, the shadow economy for illegal gambling is worth about half a billion dollars," said Mr. Yaroslavsky.
He also recalled that the availability of casinos was one of the mandatory requirements for the construction of the Premier Palace Hotel Kharkiv prior to Euro 2012. "The previous government called on us to build a five-star hotel and included the requirement to feature a casino. At this point, while I have invested about USD 12 million in this direction, the requisite facilities remain idle," Mr. Yaroslavsky said.