top of page

Currently, there is no risk of "ludomania pandemic" in Ukraine

For more than eleven years (from May 2009, when gambling in Ukraine was legally prohibited due to the adoption by the Parliament and the entry into force of the Law of Ukraine "On the Prohibition of Gambling Business in Ukraine", until August 2020, when President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the Law of Ukraine "On State Regulation of Activities Related to the Organization and Conduct of Gambling"), the gambling business in our country remained underground. For all that period of time, both state bodies and institutions of civil society actually paid no attention to the problem of the spread of gambling addiction (ludomania) among Ukrainians. No opinion polls were held, the media did not pay attention to this topic, and law enforcement agencies turned a blind eye on slot machines at almost every stop of public transport and illegal gambling establishments. People with ludomania, neither real nor potential ones, were of no interest to anyone.

After the legalization of the gambling business in Ukraine, the situation began to change rapidly. Law enforcement agencies began to close illegal establishments, and state regulatory bodies, in accordance with the requirements of the effective legislation, developed and approved the principles of responsible gambling, which all licensed operators of the gambling market must adhere to.

However, at the same time, the media began to show a strange interest in the topic of ludomania and to saturate the information space with mythologized statements that "everyone will lose everything." And the less facts a story had, the stronger the emotional component was. Such a situation is explained very simply: legal business has become a bur in the throat for underground businesses that are used to working without paying taxes and receiving fantastic profits. And it was they who launched the information attack against the white gambling market.

For its part, aware of its own social responsibility, the Ukrainian Gambling Council (UGC), which is the largest association of legal gambling organizers in Ukraine, conducted a number of polls to study the behaviour of players and those who intended to use the services of gambling companies.

The results of the first poll conducted in 2021 revealed an interesting peculiarity: the vast majority of respondents (92.3%) not only had no experience of participating in gambling at all, but also did not intend to acquire it in the future. And only 7.2% of respondents said that they would not be against playing at least one gambling game.

The second poll, completed almost a few days before the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine in February 2022, proved that Ukrainians remain a non-gambling nation. The absolute majority of respondents (92.8%) said that they had no personal experience of gambling for the previous 12 months. And only 8.2% of respondents would like to play at least one type of gambling game in the future. Currently, during the war, there is also no reason to believe that the situation can radically change and Ukrainians will suddenly become interested in gambling, if they ignored them before.

Conclusions of the polls are supported by official statistics. For example, during this year only 1,018 people were entered in the Register of Persons Restricted from Access to Gambling Establishments and/or Participation in Gambling. Let me remind you that according to official statistics, there are about 17 million people over the age of 21 in Ukraine, that is, those who can use the services of legal gambling companies.

Thus, currently we can confidently state that there cannot be a single hint of a "ludomania pandemic" in Ukraine.


bottom of page