Nearly 600 illegal gambling sites banned in Ukraine

  • Updated
  • By Max Jenner
Ukraine gambling sites
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Court rulings in Ukraine today have resulted in the blocking of 594 online gambling platforms declared to be operating illegally, following an investigation by national regulatory body the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL).

The websites were found to be lacking a proper licence and thus operating in contravention of article 203-2 of the national Criminal Code. This latest prohibition brings the number of platforms blocked in this way to over 1,000.

The move to ban the sites by KRAIL is the latest in a series of efforts to define the regulation of gambling in Ukraine. Gambling only became legal in the country last year, following a decade-long ban imposed after a disastrous fire at a gambling hall in Dnipropetrovsk in 2009 during which nine people lost their lives. The Gambling Act was signed into law last August by President Volodymyr Zelensky after having been approved by the national legislature by a vote of 248-95.

Last week, KRAIL published a list of responsible gambling regulations. Among these were a significant restriction on bonuses available to existing players. The regulations would make it illegal for operators to make bonuses contingent on losses by targeting them at players on a losing streak.

Detailed plans for a national self-exclusion scheme were also announced two weeks ago. Under these proposed rules, any player entering a land-based casino would have to have their details checked against a database of problem gamblers.

The first official Ukrainian gambling licence was granted by KRAIL to operator Spaceiks LLC in February, whilst established international operator Parimatch became the first sports betting platform to be given the go-ahead to launch the following month.

Clearly, KRAIL is keen to make the operation of the gambling industry as legally robust as possible for players following the ten-year prohibition period.