Date: 29.04.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

Last update: 08.05.2024 12:10

Ukraine Takes Decisive Steps to Curb Unlicensed Online Gambling

Ukraine’s battle against unlicensed online gambling has escalated with the Prosecutor General’s Office reporting the blocking of over 2,500 websites. The government’s initiative underscores a growing concern over gambling’s negative impacts, especially on Ukrainian soldiers during this tumultuous period.

Government Crackdown on Illegal Gambling

Ukrainian authorities have blocked thousands of illegal gambling websites. This comes in the wake of a presidential decree signed on April 20, following a petition in March that called for urgent governmental intervention.

The Prosecutor General’s Office has not only shut down these sites but is also spearheading over 450 investigations into gambling-related criminal activities, signaling a robust crackdown on these illegal operations.

The Legal Battle Intensifies

The scrutiny extends beyond the digital realm, with law enforcement agencies vigorously pursuing those behind these illicit activities. To date, 21 individuals have been suspected, and 72 indictments have been issued.

Notably, a significant case under investigation involves the alleged legalization of approximately $1.2 billion gained from illegal online gambling.

Addressing the Broader Impact of Gambling

Alongside regulatory reforms, the bill introduces additional measures such as a complete ban on online gambling advertisements and enhanced protections for vulnerable groups.

These steps are part of a broader strategy to mitigate the potential social harms of gambling, safeguarding citizens from the risks associated with addictive behaviors.

Economic Contributions vs. Social Responsibilities

Despite the challenges posed by illegal gambling, the regulated gambling industry has been a significant source of revenue for Ukraine. In the early months of 2024, the industry contributed over $56 million in taxes, with the previous year’s contributions amounting to approximately $267 million.

These figures, cited by Danylo Hetmantsev, chairman of the parliamentary Finance Committee, reflect the industry’s potential economic benefits when adequately managed.

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