Zelensky signs decree to restrict online gambling

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President Volodymyr Zelensky signed on April 20 a decree on counteracting the negative effects of online gambling, which proposes to ban it for the military until the end of martial law.

Zelensky supported the National Security and Defense Council's decision after he had announced that the government was preparing to tighten control over the online gambling industry in Ukraine.

The negative social impacts of gambling are increasingly becoming a topic of public discussion, after a petition demanding restrictions on online gambling passed the threshold for presidential consideration.

Zelensky tasked the government to define restrictions on all forms of gambling advertising, focusing on the ads using the symbols of Ukraine's Armed Forces and other military formations.

The list also includes a large-scale information campaign on the danger of gambling, the introduction of an online monitoring system and the blocking of illegal gambling websites.

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Ukraine's Security Service will examine gambling organizers for compliance with the legislation within two months, according to the decree.

The Commander-in-Chief and the leadership of military units are tasked to prohibit military personnel from accessing gambling facilities and online casinos.

In early April, the Parliamentary Finance Committee supported a bill that included the liquidation of the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries and passing its responsibilities to the Digital Transformation Ministry.

Gambling was officially banned in Ukraine in 2009 until its legalization in 2020.

In the first two months of 2024, the gambling business in Ukraine paid Hr 2.2 billion ($56 million) in taxes, and Hr 10.4 billion ($267 million) in 2023, according to Danylo Hetmantsev, the chairman of the parliamentary Finance Committee.

Read also: Parliamentary committee backs measures strengthening gambling oversight

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