Most people are aware of the stigma and stereotypes about gambling. Despite being one of the most popular pastimes in many countries, gambling is widely recognized as a sinful act, and as such, it is only legal in a few places.

Lately, however, attitudes towards gambling are shifting. And with these changes, gambling is becoming legal in many new places. This has led to widespread innovation throughout the gambling community, resulting in things like online gambling and even gambling artificial intelligence.

But it seems that this is only the beginning. Based on its history, if gambling were to become legal in even more states and countries, its popularity is bound to increase while the intersection between gambling and technology also advances.

Much of Europe has legalized at least some forms of gambling. In other countries, like the United States and China, however, gambling remains a taboo.

Even with cities like Las Vegas and Macau being world-renown gambling centers, the overall countries stay away from most gambling.

Though Europe has mostly legalized gambling, there are still some countries that have strict bans. One of these is Ukraine. However, it seems that their 10-year ban on gambling may soon be up!

Gambling actually used to be legal in Ukraine. However, in 2009, there was a fire in a Ukrainian gambling hall that killed nine people and injured another eleven. Officials noted that the fire was in part caused by a lack of oversight and compliance with safety regulations.
The first started in a slot machine. And unfortunately, many people were trapped inside because there were only a single entrance and exit in the building.

This particular incident led to the Ukrainian government suspending gambling licenses and performing safety checks on all gaming establishments.

The fire also further heightened the importance for the government to crack down on gambling business operations. They were already aware of some shady schemes that businesses were using to undermine laws regarding gambling.

As such, that very year, Ukraine drafted laws to restrict gambling throughout the country. However, it was not an outright ban.

Though Ukraine banned gambling, they allowed for the existence of specific gambling areas in which some gambling was allowed.

The ban further defined gambling based on the role of chance. Gambling was considered anything in which players made bets to win some kind of prize, and their winning had some dependence on chance, whether partial or complete.

As such, Ukraine's ban included everything from slot machines to online gambling.

The implementation of this ban sought to prevent vulnerable demographics from losing lots on games of chance or even the manipulation of gambling sites that were operating contrary to standards at the time. This was hoped to be achieved through both the ban itself as well as the particular location of allowed gambling zones.
The existence of the gambling zones was also to allow the government to gain some revenue from the gambling industry, especially through tourists.

However, even after the ban was imposed, many illegal gambling operations continued to exist. Despite the ban, Ukraine was housing a multi-million-dollar illegal gambling industry.

The Ukrainian government would not tolerate these underground schemes. At one point, the police shut down over 100 illegal gambling sites in a single night an even confiscated almost $2 million worth of gambling equipment.
Additionally, another 250 criminal cases into gambling businesses were opened by the Ukrainian police.

But as of 2019, there had been talks about overturning the ban by the end of the year. However, this didn't come as a complete surprise, as the current Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, mentioned overturning the ban during his campaign.
News of a draft on the new bill was announced during the summer of 2019. The 2020 draft budget also prioritized legalizing gambling.

With the legalization of gambling, the Ukrainian government also plan on implementing limitations and regulation.

The Prime Minister, Alexi Goncharuk, described that gambling in Kiev would be limited to large hotels. Some smaller hotels would be allowed to provide gambling opportunities in Odesa and Lviv.

Some slot halls would also be allowed, but only in certain locations. They would be limited such that they were not close to any schools, hospitals, or churches. A cap on the number of slot machines is also being considered.
While the extent to which gambling is legalized isn't fully defined as of now, it has been rumored that many kinds of gambling will be allowed (with some limitation, of course). This includes online gambling.

As of now, there seem to be some online gambling sites that are legal in Ukraine, including European brand name Ignition Casino (check this review for more details).

The bill was initially submitted to the Rada on October 18, 2019.

In January of 2020, the bill to legalize gambling in Ukraine passed its first reading. The minimum number of votes required was only 226, and the bill got 260.

On January 3rd, an amendment to the Tax Code of Ukraine was also announced. It would reduce tax rates on gambling businesses' revenue to 10% of total income from its previous 18%. The amendment also seeks to exempt gambling wins from individual income as well as war taxes.
Only time will tell where the bill goes from here, and how the future of gambling in Ukraine will pan out.

However, considering the success that the legalization of gambling has achieved so far, it seems that soon, the Ukrainians may be able to enjoy gambling more freely once again.

The government's adoption of regulations accompanying the bill also seeks to help the Ukrainian people by preventing them from being manipulated while allowing the country to benefit from the revenue of gambling services. In light of the illegal gambling industry that continues to exist in Ukraine, this bill hopes to bring that industry back under the oversight and regulation of the government.

But until then, if you're a Ukrainian or a tourist in Ukraine looking to gamble, make sure you know where you're gambling. There are legal areas where you can gamble, even though they might be slightly inconvenient and out the way.