April 30, 2024 2 min read

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Ukraine Goes after Illegal Gambling Operators Tied to Russia

The embattled country has taken a closer look at its gambling industry, fighting Russian influence, illegal activities, and low troop morale at the same time

Ukraine is on the offensive once again with the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s General Office launching a new investigation into online gambling platforms that have been operating illegally and are tied to Russia.

At the onset of the 2022 war, which Russia declared on its neighbor, Ukraine sought to stem the tide of cash outflow that could be fueling the aggressor’s warm machine.

Gambling sites with ties to the Russian Federation were an immediate target of Ukrainian efforts to root out illegal gambling in the country, and the latest identified but unnamed websites are among those.

Gambling Is Important for Ukraine’s National Security

Parimatch, a prominent platform, was mistakenly caught in the crossfire. Luckily, Parimatch was removed from the Presidential list of banned gambling companies later on. The new allegations levelled against Russian-based individuals and illegal platforms though will stay.

Ukraine has not shied away from levelling accusations against individual operators, and most recently in February, the country went after Cosmolot, accusing the platform of tax evasion.

The Office also outlined some of the steps that have already been taken to combat illegal gambling in the country with more than 2,500 illegal gambling sites blocked since last year, as reported previously. Right now, 450 criminal offenses are related to illegal gambling as well.

Gambling Encroaching on Military Capabilities

The country is also going after individuals whom it suspects of wrongdoing related to illegal gambling. Meanwhile, the military has had its fair share of problems with gambling and gambling-related harm.

Apart from undermining the country’s war-waging capabilities, gambling within the army has also taken a toll on the mental health of soldiers.

The Verkhovna Rada has now issued a ban on gambling in the army, with lawmakers worried about the problem as well and how it might reflect on the battlefield. Efforts to curb the spreading of illegal and irresponsible gambling have been well underway.

In the meantime, the country has also benefited from the regulated gambling sector, with online gambling outpacing expectations and generating a steady stream of tax revenue for the state coffers.

All of this is happening at a time of intensified interest in the gambling market in Ukraine. So much so that the country approved 150 new licenses in early April. Yet, there have been some headwinds as well, including the proposed dissolution of the state regulator, KRAIL, which has been deemed unfit to carry out its duties.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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