"I'm absolutely sure we have to legalize gambling in Odesa, no matter what is said and by whom," he said today at the Pivdennyi sea port, where a new plant opened, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.
Saakashvili said the gambling business in Ukraine was "a reality sheltered by law enforcers." "There are several illegal casinos in Odesa, there are some illegal casinos in Kyiv. Who do we play fool with?" the governor added.
In late 2014, the Cabinet introduced bills intended to legalize gambling. However, all three draft laws - No.1570 (on lotteries), No.1571 (on casinos), No.1572 (on betting) hadn't received sufficient support to be included in the agenda. The bills were aimed at legalizing betting business and casinos, which have been formally prohibited since spring 2009 along with the rest of gambling business, as well as tightening control over state lottery operators.
Some norms of the above draft laws caused rather strong reaction of some MPs, who accused the Prime Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk of an attempt to organize a corruption scheme.