Don't Bet on Being Able to Gamble in Kiev

Dont expect to be able to flutter your cash in Kiev any time soon, after the Ukrainian Government took the gambling industry by shock and closed down all casinos and gambling halls in the country.

Thousands of employees of gambling halls and casinos demonstrated in the capital against the sudden move protesting that their jobs and livelihoods were now at risk. The protesters gathered in front of the President Viktor Yushchenkos residence shouting Dont deprive us of work! and Shame!. They called for him to veto the ban. Anatoly Nesterenko, president of the Ukrainian Casinos Association, said the ban "will leave more than 200,000 Ukrainians without work".

The reason the Government took the action lay in the deadly fire that broke out in a slot machine hall in Dnipropetrovsk and killed nine people a week ago. Those who backed the ban defended their actions by stating that they were worried about the rise in slot machines and that they wanted to protect the populations morale and health.

This argument has been ridiculed by those working in the gambling industry. Olesky Konshin, director of the Aurum casino in Kiev argued that: If there is an accident in a factory, we don't ban the entire industry.

Its estimated that there are around 13,000 gambling halls in Ukraine. If ithe ban goes ahead therell be no rolling of the dice or one-armed bandits in the country until the proposed introduction of special zones for gambling halls.


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