Belarus leans toward regulated gambling

March 9, 2010 at 11:41 AM

MINSK, Belarus, March 9 (UPI) -- Legal gambling in Belarus should not be banned but rather well-regulated to raise government revenue, President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday.

At a cabinet meeting in Minsk, Lukashenko said the problems of gambling corruption seen in neighboring Russia and Ukraine could be avoided with proper planning and oversight, the Belta news agency reported.

"If approached wisely, the gambling industry can become an additional source of revenue for the national budget through taxes," he said. "The industry can create new jobs and attract tourists and investments to our country."

The cabinet was reviewing a proposal Lukashenko ordered six months ago from government agencies and commercial interests on how best to manage casinos, the report said.

"Everything will be alright here if those who are assigned to control this business do their jobs and do not destroy the business, do not criminalize it," Lukashenko said.

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