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29 May, 2024 09:16

Ukraine bans online gambling ads

The government order is part of a crackdown on the recently legalized industry, which was accused of preying on frontline troops
Ukraine bans online gambling ads

The Ukrainian government has banned online advertising in relation to all forms of gambling, the media reported on Wednesday.

Kiev legalized gambling in 2020, touting the move as a way of boosting tax revenues and attracting foreign tourists. In April, Vladimir Zelensky introduced significant restrictions on online casinos following concerns that Ukrainian soldiers were proving highly susceptible to them.

The advertising ban was imposed by the Ukrainian cabinet and applies to online casinos and betting services, the Court Judicial Paper reported. It is intended as a stopgap measure until a new law comes into force to overhaul regulations and mitigate the industry’s negative effects on society. A relevant bill is currently being debated by the national parliament.

Zelensky’s decree in April effected several measures proposed by the Ukrainian Security Council, including a demand for the military to cut troops’ access to gambling sites, and an order for the national communications watchdog to ramp up control over such services.

The apparent gambling epidemic was reportedly caused by a combination of constant stress that soldiers experience on the front line, and the fact that they are paid relatively high salaries.

Opposition MP Aleksey Goncharenko claimed in March that as much as 90% of soldiers in the trenches were addicted. Some military leaders have denied the existence of such a problem.