Ukraine’s Secret Service together with the country’s regulator shut down more than 30 venues offering illegal gambling in March. During the raids in multiple regions across the country, officials confiscated a significant number of casino equipment and cash.
Ukraine Steps up Efforts against Illegal Gambling
Several bills proposed the legalization of gambling in Ukraine last summer. After passing at the Verkhovna Rada, which is the Ukrainian parliament, bill 2285-D was signed by the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. This became Ukraine’s Gambling Act, which legalizes and regulates online gambling, land-based gambling, and bookmaking. Consequently, early in February, Spaceiks became the first licensed online gambling operator in Ukraine.
Now, the country’s Commission for the regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) along with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) stepped up its efforts against illegal gambling operations. Collaborating, the duo struck down more than 30 illegal gambling operations this month alone.
Raids against Illegal Gambling Conducted in Several Regions
During the raids, the SBU found out that the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) organizations may have received funds from the illegal operations. Although both the DPR and LPR are deemed by Ukraine as terrorist organizations, this is not the case for Russia and Europe.
Since the beginning of March, the SBU shut down two casinos as well as more than 30 illegal gambling operations. Significant amounts of cash, playing chips, and other evidence were seized during the raids. Furthermore, the SBU also confiscated roulette wheels, poker tables, more than 600 PCs, and other gambling equipment.
The raids against illegal gambling operations took place at Donetsk, Kyiv, Odesa, Zhytomyr, and a few other regions. The SBU does not exclude the possibility of police officers being involved in the illegal gambling scheme.