Ukraine intensifies regulations on online gambling to shield soldiers

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy enacted the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) concerning restrictions on online gambling, issuing the decree on the Presidential Office website on April 20.

The decree includes several key directives:

  • Restricting online casino advertising

  • Establishing weekly gaming and expenditure limits

  • Implementing an online monitoring system

  • Blocking illegal gambling websites

  • Introducing restrictions for military personnel

  • Instructing the Ukrainian SBU security service to conduct inspections of gambling organizers

Zelenskyy also instructed the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine with:

  • Developing procedures for restricting all forms of gambling advertising using the symbols of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military formations

  • Prohibiting the registration of multiple accounts for a single player, and establishing continuous participation time limits for one account per week

  • Requiring gambling organizers to set a player limit before starting the game, with the possibility of changing such a limit no more than once a month

  • Implementing a state online monitoring system

  • Conducting a national information and awareness campaign on the dangers of gambling

  • Blocking illegal websites providing access to gambling activities

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The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is to introduce a ban on soldiers accessing gambling establishments or participating in online gambling during martial law.

The SBU is expected to complete inspections of gambling organizers within two months. Additionally, the Ukrainian National Bank is tasked with instructing banks to block payments to gambling organizers that use credit funds, with guidelines to be established within two months.

Ukraine's Digital Transformation Ministry is to hold negotiations with Apple and Google within one month regarding the prohibition of placing applications with gambling games without the appropriate license in the UA zone in their application stores.

Within three months, Ukraine's Health Ministry is to develop a clinical protocol to treat gaming addiction.

Online casinos ban

Ukrainian serviceman Pavlo Petrychenko spearheaded a petition on March 29 calling for strict regulations on online casinos. Many soldiers turn to gambling as a coping mechanism for stress, often leading to addiction, Petrychenko said. He emphasized the exploitation of this vulnerability by the gambling industry, which frequently incorporates symbols of the Ukrainian Armed Forces into their platforms.

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Petrychenko voiced concerns over the potential security risks posed by Russian online casinos accessing personal data of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. The petition garnered the necessary 25,000 votes within hours.

President Zelenskyy urged the authorities to gather comprehensive analytics on this issue.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine