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Gambling legalization brought Ukraine tens of billions of hryvnias

The situation around the legal gambling market in Ukraine is increasingly reminiscent of the events of early 2009, when the number of negative materials about gambling was rapidly growing in the media and an active campaign against white business was conducted.

I would like to remind you that at that time, Ukraine had a predominantly offline segment (due to the underdevelopment of network technologies) with about 50 licensed casinos. And according to the German company GIZ, as of 2008, the volume of the white gambling market in Ukraine was estimated at almost €1 billion and showed a tendency to further growth.

According to expert estimates, the legal gambling market reached such figures after the start of the reform in 2020 only on the eve of a full-scale invasion. It's hard to imagine how many opportunities were lost and how much money the state and local budgets lost during the years of gambling prohibition!

In order to estimate the order of the figures, we can use the current statistics for the last year, as these indicators are, in fact, comparable to those that Ukrainian gambling could have demonstrated more than 10 years ago.

Thus, according to official data, in 2023, legal gambling businesses paid almost UAH 11 billion in taxes to the state budget. Related taxes as a result of the work of service and marketing companies that serve legal gambling amounted to more than UAH 1 billion. In addition, during this period, CRGL transferred UAH 1.969 billion to the state budget as license fees. That is, thanks to the work of licensed gambling market organizers, the state received almost UAH 14 billion in just one year! But that's not all they did to help the state.

From the very beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by russian troops, legal gambling companies have been actively contributing to the country's defense capabilities and the implementation of a number of national and regional social and humanitarian projects.

Thus, the total amount of assistance from Favbet has reached almost UAH 1 billion. With the assistance of the Favbet Foundation, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already received 280 vehicles and 650 drones of various types, including an attack drone. In addition, hundreds of pieces of special equipment have been provided to the army and the ATO forces: thermal imagers, rangefinders, sights, communication systems, and electronic warfare to counter enemy drones. A relatively recent example is the fundraising for Sea Baby drones, which Ukrainians closed in two days. Four gambling companies transferred UAH 35.5 million (about one-eighth) of the required amount.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine received almost UAH 180 million in assistance from the Slots City Foundation, which is distributed to six priority projects. Three are for the purchase and repair of equipment: drones (Free Sky), cars (Free Land), and boats for the military (Free Sea), two are for targeted assistance to the military (Free People: Army) and IDPs (Free People: help), and one is for supporting technical developments for the military (Free: Military-Tech). Recently, Slots City Foundation and VOL labs have repaired 2284 drones for the army.

Cosmolot has already allocated more than UAH 230 million to help the Armed Forces. As part of the Cosmolot Airlines project, the company handed over 50 Punisher UAVs. By the way, it was the Punisher that destroyed the russian electronic warfare complex Borysoglibsk-2 worth about $200 million. Cosmolot also initiated the creation of the first non-governmental platform for inventors of military equipment, Brave Inventors, which aims to comprehensively support Ukrainian inventors of military equipment needed by the front line and develop the military tech industry in Ukraine.

Pin-Up Ukraine has allocated over UAH 153 million to charitable and humanitarian projects. For example, the Pin-Up Foundation participated in a rescue mission after the explosion of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, repaired and equipped children's centers in Kyiv region, and installed stationary street shelters in Kherson, Chernihiv, and Kharkiv region. As part of the Line-Up project, the Foundation delivered 200 tons of essential goods to frontline cities and helped 15 thousand Ukrainians. And recently, Pin-Up and Forbes Ukraine announced the launch of a grant program to help small entrepreneurs operating in areas close to the frontline. 15 winners will receive grants for business development in the amount of UAH 200,000 to 500,000. The grant fund is UAH 5 million.

Vbet Ukraine has established the We Care Fund, a charity fund that is primarily used to address humanitarian issues. More than UAH 19 million has already been allocated for these purposes.

Online casino Slotoking (Slots U.A. LLC) and Superhumans Center signed a memorandum of cooperation aimed at rehabilitating soldiers who suffered severe injuries during the war. UAH 40 million is allocated for the rehabilitation of the defenders.

GGPoker mainly transfers funds to a specialized account of the NBU, which is used to finance national humanitarian projects. In total, almost UAH 10 million has been spent on charity since the beginning of the full-scale war.

GGBet, a licensed bookmaker, purchased modern military equipment for the 93rd separate mechanized brigade "Kholodnyi Yar" - on March 14, 2024, the company announced the transfer of two electronic warfare stations worth more than UAH 1 million to the brigade.

Prior to being deprived of the ability to conduct business, Parimatch allocated UAH 700 million to help the Ukrainian army. The lion's share of these funds, namely UAH 386 million, was spent on assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which the company provided in 2022. In addition, the company created a special charitable foundation, the Parimatch Foundation, whose main activities were aimed at helping Ukrainian children and temporarily displaced persons.

The total amount of charitable assistance from legal gambling companies in the fight against the aggressor is currently UAH 2.34 billion. On average, players (through special accounts opened by companies) and licensed companies have donated more than UAH 1 billion over three years through the game itself. In total, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the gambling business has allocated almost UAH 3.5 billion to help the Armed Forces and Ukrainians!


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