The parliament of Ukraine voted definitively to shut down all casinos and slot operations in the country as of June 11. The vote followed President Victor Yushchenko’s June 4 veto of the shutdown law originally passed in May.
Yushchenko had suggested a suspension of existing gaming licenses until such time as gaming zones, similar to those planned for Russia, could be established. The proposed gaming zones were part of the original legislation passed by parliament and they have been incorporated in the latest law passed as well.
The government is now set to draw up new gaming legislation within the next three months.
The first parliamentary vote to shut down gaming operations came on the heels of a deadly fire in a small slot hall in Dnepropetrovsk.
“This law is populist and badly drafted,” the president’s office said in a statement. “It will lead to the loss of 200,000 jobs. In conditions of a world financial crisis, the president cannot go along with it.”
Casino operator Olympic Entertainment Group had ordered its Ukraine venues to reopen on June 8, just four days after the president’s veto. Now, after the June 10 parliamentary vote, OEG is studying its options.
“OEG is conducting legal analysis of the situation and will plan its future actions in accordance with analysis results,” the Estonia-based company said in a statement on its website.