The Ukrainian parliament has approved a ban on gambling businesses and gaming until a law permitting gaming in specific zones is passed.

Licences granted under the previous regime have effectively been cancelled, with the new law outlining heavy fines and the confiscation of equipment for those who violate the regulations. The special law creating gambling zones is expected to be drawn up within the next three months.

In light of the decision, Olympic Entertainment Group has suspended trading at its Ukrainian subsidiary’s properties and its employees have been sent on holiday without pay. The company said it was doing everything possible to open its casinos again as soon as possible, arguing that the move to suspend gambling contravenes a number of other laws.