On 8 August 2019, while speaking at the Ukrainian-Turkish business forum in Istanbul, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced plans to legalise gambling in Ukraine.

According to President Zelensky, new regulations will include the operation of casinos in five-star hotels as part of a strategy to stimulate the tourist industry in the Black Sea region.

Gambling in Ukraine was prohibited in 2009. In May 2016, however, the Ukrainian government submitted a draft law to parliament on gambling's re-legalisation with no further developments on the controversial legislation since that time.

Currently, the gambling industry in Ukraine operates in a grey zone with organisers employing different strategies to legally bypass the ban.

President Zelensky's recently announced initiative could help resolve the issue of illegal gambling in Ukraine, but legalisation will not be possible until Ukraine's parliament passes a relevant law.