Ukraine Considers New Restrictions for Online Gambling

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in what can only be described as an unprecedented act of war. This invasion became the largest attack on a sovereign European country ever since World War II. The war resulted in the displacement of millions of Ukrainians and the death of civilians and military personnel.

While the war is currently ongoing, a new initiative seeks to protect Ukrainian soldiers from gambling addiction and the negative impact of excessive gambling activities. Late last month, a petition calling for the restriction of online gambling activities was registered. It only took several hours for the petition to collect the required minimum votes for the proposal to be reviewed by Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky.

The petition was authored by Pavlo Petrychenko, a Ukrainian soldier, who supported the idea of restricting online gambling activities for people in the army during martial law, a report released by the Kyiv Independent reveals. The soldier spoke about the possibility of military personnel becoming addicted to online gambling. According to Petrychenko, for some Ukrainian soldiers, gambling has become the β€œonly way” to deal with high levels of stress.

In light of the petition, President Zelensky spoke with a number of agencies and regulators, including Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), the State Service of Special Communications, the Digital Transformation Ministry and the National Security and Defense Council Secretary.

Ultimately, the proposal seeks to not only protect Ukrainian soldiers but also β€œhelp protect the interests of the society.” This position was reaffirmed by President Zelensky too. However, it is yet to be confirmed when the new tough online gambling regulations will be implemented.

β€œWe are preparing corresponding steps which will increase control over the industry and help to protect the interests of the society.β€œ

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

Gambling Contributes with Tax Revenue

In March, the Ministry of Finance in Ukraine released its latest tax report, outlining details regarding the proceeds from gambling tax in February. This report highlighted a significant uptick in the contributions from gambling, despite the ongoing war with Russia.

Upon announcing its report, the ministry said that the gambling sector contributed UAH 1.8 billion ($0.047 billion) in taxes. This result represented a mind-blowing 370% increase when compared to February last year. The result also underlined the resilience of the industry, despite ongoing challenges.