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04 Apr. 2024


Zelenskyy announces tighter control over online casinos: what awaits the gambling business



Zelenskyy announces tighter control over online casinos: what awaits the gambling business

President Zelenskyy has announced decisive measures to tighten control over the operation of online casinos. This may mean strengthening the rules and restrictions governing the availability of games, introducing new control mechanisms, as well as increasing the responsibility of organizers for failure to comply with the established standards. Learn more about the bans

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On Thursday, April 4, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Taxation and Customs Policy recommended adopting as a basis the revised draft law No. 9256-d, which aims to strengthen control over the activities of gambling and lottery organizers. This was announced by the chairman of the committee Danylo Hetmantsev on Telegram, reports.

Ukraine will strengthen control over gambling business: details

Hetmantsev noted that the revised draft law is aimed at solving the problem of the worsening of gambling addiction during martial law, especially among military personnel under severe stress. This can increase the risk of gambling addiction, so additional protection mechanisms are needed.

In addition, the draft law provides for stricter requirements for gambling advertising, including its prohibition on the Internet and limiting the possibility of sponsorship abuse to hide advertising. For violation of these requirements, it is proposed to increase fines from 300 to 600 minimum wages, and for repeated violations - revocation of the license of a gambling organizer.

Hetmantsev also pointed out that the draft law establishes a number of other rules for gambling organizers:

• The procedure and consequences of actual inspections, including the method of control purchases, are clarified and detailed.

• It introduces a system of measures to prevent and counteract the operation of illegal gambling and gambling facilities, including monitoring the Internet to identify illegal sites and applications and block their access.

• Additional criteria for revoking licenses are established, requirements for the business reputation of officials of gambling organizers, as well as requirements for service providers in this area are improved.

• Requirements are introduced to combat severe gambling addiction, in particular, by including in the Register of persons who are restricted from accessing gambling facilities and/or participating in gambling during martial law.

• The law introduces a compensation mechanism for players who are not allowed to participate in gambling by the organizers despite their self-restrictions.

• It is proposed that a player cannot use more than one account for settlements with gambling organizers.

• In order to increase the transparency of the licensing procedure, it is envisaged that an application for a license may be submitted electronically through the Unified State Web Portal of Electronic Services.

Restrictions on online casinos: petition on the website of the President's Office 

In late March, a petition titled "Restrictions on the operation of online casinos" appeared on the website of the President's Office, calling for restrictions on the gambling business. The petition was authored by Pavlo Petrychenko, a soldier of the 59th Brigade. The petition gained the required number of signatures for consideration by the head of state, namely 25 thousand votes, just a few hours after its publication.

In particular, the petition proposed the following steps:

- Prohibition of gambling and access to online casinos for military personnel during martial law.

- Prohibition of gambling advertising that uses the symbols of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and any other military-related symbols.

- Prohibition of cooperation between charitable foundations and gambling market participants.

- Prohibition of accepting charitable aid from gambling market participants to military units.

- Prohibition of any advertising or public references to charitable assistance to military personnel from gambling market participants.

- Prohibiting pawnshops from accepting dual-use goods such as drones and thermal imagers.

Obligation of Internet providers and mobile operators to block websites of illegal casinos.

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Tightening of control over online casinos: reaction of the Ukrainian government 

In the evening of the same day, President Zelensky responded to the petition by instructing the SBU, the State Special Communications Service, the Ministry of Digital Transformation, and the National Security and Defense Council to analyze the issue of online casinos.

Danylo Hetmantsev, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Taxation and Customs Policy, expressed his opinion on the petition to restrict the operation of online casinos, noting that the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL), which controlled the gambling business in Ukraine, should have actively protected the interests of players. Instead of internal conflicts, CRGL should have focused on building a culture of responsible gambling and launching the State Online Monitoring System in August 2022. However, these steps were not taken, which led to support for the liquidation of KRAIL in the draft law No. 9256.

The Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, also supported the initiative to eliminate KRAIL, calling it a "one hundred percent first step" in the fight against online gambling and ludomania.

We remind you! The draft law on mobilisation being considered by the Verkhovna Rada is intended to improve the conscription of Ukrainian men, as Ukraine has run out of volunteers and now needs to recruit citizens who have not yet gone to the frontline. How many men Ukraine can mobilise and why it is necessary, we tell you here.

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