March 16, 2023 3 min read


Ukraine’s Gambling Council Believes Sanctioning Parimatch and PokerMatch Is a Mistake

Anton Kuchukhidze, chair of the UGC, said that a legal gambling business will pass all trials with dignity

Ukraine recently sanctioned almost hundreds of companies and individuals for alleged ties with Russia. While the country’s desire to cut all ties with its aggressor is understandable, some of the entities on the list might have been sanctioned by mistake. One such example is Parimatch.

The example echoes the inclusion of PokerMatch in the list. The latter company just released a statement on the matter, highlighting its devotion to Ukraine and asking the country to review its decision. Now, the Ukraine Gambling Council (UGC) has also taken action, asking the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to rethink its stance.

Anton Kuchukhidze, chairman of the UGC, believes that Parimatch Ukraine is a far cry from a pro-Russian company. He also defended PokerMatch, claiming that both companies have been wrongly included in the list of sanctioned companies.

Kuchukhidze Asserted that Parimatch and PokerMatch Are Pro-Ukraine

In a LinkedIn statement, Kuchukhidze addressed the situation in detail. He acknowledged the National Security and Defense Council’s desire to protect the local market from “ruscists’ brands.” However, Kuchukhidze argues that the Defense Council has mistakenly included pro-Ukraine companies in the list.

The chair said that he is certain that Parimatch will be able to prove that it is not a pro-Russian company. He said that Parimatch had taken a pro-Ukrainian stance early on and that it has provided valuable financial aid to the defense and security forces of the country. As of the time of this writing, the brand has donated over $13.6 million for these purposes.

Kuchukhidze added that if tax inconsistencies are the problem, they should be tackled through the tax service or the court. He believes that harsh measures make it harder to prevent mistakes.

The chair concluded that he believes legal gambling will prevail:

In addition to that, I would like to make a big request to the public and the media NOT to pick up the thesis of illegal gambling businesses that such a situation can lead to the failure of the reform or the closure of the white market. A legal gambling business will pass all trials with dignity.

Anton Kuchukhidze, chair, UGC

Parimatch, originally a Kyiv-based company, has contacted President Zelensky in relation to its recent sanction. The measure by the National Security and Defense Council would see 287 companies and 120 individuals barred from conducting business in the country for the next 50 years.

This harsh measure comes amid an ever-intensifying war of attrition where Ukraine struggles for its survival against the Russian invaders.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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