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Zelenskyy Addresses Soldier’s Petition against Online Gambling

President Volodymyr Zelensky has directed Ukrainian authorities to tackle the widespread influence of online gambling following a petition that calls for restrictions in the nation's gambling industry.

The petition, introduced by a soldier from the 59th Brigade, Pavlo Petrychenko, calls for the prohibition of gambling and access to online casinos for military personnel during martial law.

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The petitioner also asked the government to initiate a bill to ban gambling advertisements featuring symbols of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as any ads referencing charitable aid to military personnel by gambling operators.

Furthermore, the petition underscores the need for internet service providers and mobile operators to block illegal live online casinos and gambling sites. Petrychenko also claimed that Russian online casinos can access the personal data of military personnel and other Ukrainians, which poses a threat to national security.

The petition collected over 26,000 votes within a few hours of its initiation, surpassing the required 25,000 minimum signatures needed for petitions to get presidential consideration in Ukraine.

Reacting to the petition, Zelenskyy stated in his evening video address that he had instructed the chief of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the Special Communications Service, the Digital Transformation Ministry, and the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council to collect comprehensive analytics on the issue and propose solutions in the following week.

Related: Ukraine Introduces New Turnover Tax on Online Casinos and Tighter Gaming Regulations

More Regulation News

Ukrain's Online Gambling Spending Reaches $55 Million

Ukraine officially banned gambling in 2020 but legalized it again in 2020. According to Danylo Hetmantsev, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, the gambling industry in Ukraine paid Hr 2.2 billion ($55.6 million) in taxes during the first two months of 2024, and Hr 10.4 billion ($263.291 million) for the whole of 2023.

Ukraine's National Bank reported that Ukrainians spent nearly UAH 150 billion ($3.9 billion) in gambling in 2023. From the total, casinos declared a revenue of UAH 6.9 billion ($180 million).

A significant portion of the gambling population are soldiers, who earn high salaries but are prone to gambling addiction due to stress and lack of opportunities to spend money while on the frontline.

RELATED TOPICS: Regulation

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