top of page

Development of the legal gambling market is impossible without a systematic fight against illegal

The successful completion of the reform on the legalization of gambling depends, in addition to adoption of appropriate tax and regulatory legislation, on equal competitive conditions. In order to create them, all market participants should comply with certain rules, and failure to comply with them should be effectively punished by appropriate mechanisms. That is why the illegal gambling segment must finally discontinue operation, because by being outside the legal field with impunity, its representatives get illegal advantages over legal business.

The legalization of gambling in Ukraine more than 2.5 years ago led to the formation of a whole sector of the economy. This step had at least two very important positive effects:

First, new sources of income for the budget and a sphere for investments were created, which, by the way, have already provided more than one billion hryvnias of revenue for the state.

Second, legalization has drawn a clear line between real business that aims to grow the industry and illegals that are only interested in maximizing their profits by any means necessary.

The second consequence is particularly important, because it gave the state a basis for clearly defining the underground segment of the industry, which should be liquidated. However, conceptual certainty is not enough. In addition to that, specific mechanisms for fighting against illegal businesses should be implemented and clear procedures for bringing them to justice should be developed. Currently, these mechanisms function partially and we can even talk about certain successes.

As a result of the operation of the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL) with other state agencies, the activity of illegal gambling web resources has decreased. In total, the Commission identified 1,895 illegal websites and platforms related to the organization and conduct of gambling. After conducting additional analysis, it was established that only 727 sites from this list directly provided illegal services for the organization and conduct of gambling. Other web-sites changed their type of activity, prohibited access to gambling or were mainly associated with advertising and dissemination of information about illegal organizers and their services.

However, no matter how effective efforts of CRGL are, the Commission does not have the authority to stop the work of illegal businesses. It can only carry out analytical and investigative work and send relevant requests to law enforcement agencies that have the appropriate powers. Stopping the activity of illegal platforms and gambling establishments, as well as bringing to justice persons involved in the organization of their work, is the responsibility of law enforcement agencies together with all relevant state structures.

It is also worth noting that it is necessary to fight against illegal businesses both online and offline. Despite the war, the number of illegal gambling halls does not decrease, and in some regions even increases. At the same time, legal organizers of gambling are sometimes under pressure in the form of additional checks or sanctions, the application of which does not always seem justified. In order to ensure the sustainable development of the market, it is necessary to regulate this situation and finally begin to systematically purge both online and land-based gambling from illegals.


bottom of page