April 22, 2024 3 min read


Ukrainian Soldiers Barred from Gambling amid New Regulations

The new measures aim to combat rising addiction rates, help protect military personnel from gambling harm, and enhance broader consumer safety

In a bid to address mounting concerns over gambling addiction among military personnel, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has approved a series of measures aimed at enhancing user safety within the country’s gambling industry. Under the new regulations, Ukrainian soldiers are prohibited from participating in any form of gambling, both in land-based establishments and online, for the duration of martial law.

Gambling Addiction Remains a Pressing Issue

The decision comes in response to a petition initiated by Pavlo Petrychenk, a member of Ukraine’s 56th Brigade, highlighting the alarming rise of gambling addiction among armed forces members. Petrychenk underscored the unique psychological vulnerabilities faced by military personnel, who endure prolonged periods away from their families in stressful and demanding environments. 

For many soldiers, gambling becomes a coping mechanism, leading to dopamine addiction and a loss of self-control. The initiative reflects Zelenskyy’s commitment to imposing stricter controls on gambling following the submission of Petrychenk’s petition, which garnered over 25,000 signatures, signaling widespread public concern over not only the personal toll of gambling addiction but also broader security and humanitarian implications.

In a concerted effort to raise awareness about the dangers of gambling addiction, Ukraine will launch an extensive information campaign complemented by the adoption of a clinical protocol for treating gambling addiction within the healthcare system. Medical professionals will undergo specialized training to identify and address problem gambling among patients effectively.

The New Measures Target the Broader Industry

The presidential decree, endorsed on Saturday, encompasses a range of stringent measures to curb problem gambling and enhance regulatory oversight within the gambling industry. Notably, new regulations will tighten restrictions on gambling advertising, particularly ads featuring symbols from Ukraine’s armed forces. Additionally, online gambling operators will be mandated to implement mandatory loss limits and enforce compulsory breaks for players. 

The enforcement measures outlined in the decree include a comprehensive site-blocking campaign, with Ukrainian security services tasked with monitoring operator compliance within two months. The decree also prohibits players from opening multiple accounts with the same operator, hopefully deterring excessive gambling behavior and ensuring users cannot easily circumvent the new restrictions.

As Ukraine takes decisive steps to tackle problem gambling within its armed forces, the measures underscore the government’s commitment to safeguarding the well-being of its citizens and upholding regulatory integrity within the gambling industry. This regulatory update should also help curb instances of soldiers selling military equipment on the black market to fuel their gambling habits, thus aiding the broader war effort.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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