Date: 29.05.2024

by Adam Dworak

Ukraine Implements Comprehensive Ban on Gambling Advertising

Ukraine’s government has opted to ban all gambling advertising in the country. The changes are outlined in resolution No. 583 and come amid an intense crackdown on the gambling industry.

Government’s Resolution to Ban Gambling Ads

The resolution, adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers, aligns with ongoing efforts to mitigate the negative impact of online gambling on Ukrainian soldiers and citizens. The measure, which has been amended to increase its scope, now prohibits gambling operators from marketing their products in the country.

The ban will remain in effect until the Verkhovna Rada finalizes its law on combating gambling addiction.

Protecting Soldiers from Gambling Harm

The new measure is part of the country’s continued efforts to prevent the negative impact gambling has had on its people amidst Russia’s ongoing invasion. A month ago, the government implemented a ban that restricts soldiers from gambling.

Approved by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the new regulations prohibit soldiers from participating in any form of gambling, both in land-based establishments and online, until martial law is lifted.

The decision came in response to a petition initiated by Pavlo Petrychenk, a member of Ukraine’s 56th Brigade, who highlighted a concerning rise in gambling addiction among military personnel. In his petition, Petrychenk pointed out that gambling has become a coping mechanism for many soldiers due to their unique circumstances. As a result, many military personnel have lost control of their habits, gambling away more than they can afford to.

Petrychenk’s petition gained over 25,000 signatures, demonstrating significant public support for this measure.

Preventing Financial Leakage to Russia

The prohibition of gambling for Ukrainian soldiers and the new ban on gambling advertising will be complemented by an extensive information campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of gambling and provide treatment to those in need.

In the meantime, Ukraine continues its crackdown on illegal gambling operators, especially those tied to Russia. Since the beginning of the war, Ukraine has sought to prevent Ukrainian money from leaking into businesses and operations controlled by its aggressor. Last month, Ukraine announced that it had blocked over 2,500 illegal gambling sites since the previous year.

Growth Amidst Challenges

Despite the challenges, Ukraine’s gambling industry continues to grow. At the beginning of April, the Ukrainian gambling regulator approved over 150 new licenses. At the same time, the regulator refused to provide licenses to roughly 40 operators due to documentation and compliance issues.