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Illegal gambling means unearned budget revenues and scammed players

From the first days of legalization, the gambling business in Ukraine developed in difficult conditions. A full-scale war and serious resistance from illegal businesses were added to the traditional challenges of developing any new industry. It is not only about their reluctance to obtain licenses, it is also about a very real danger for players and the state, in particular, caused by connections of illegal gambling businesses with russia. These companies operate underground, resorting to aggressive and unfair methods of competition, which is detrimental to the development of legal gambling, which provides revenue to the state budget.

This seems an incredible and unfortunate fact, but according to the closed research of our partner institutions, Russian Mostbet is the leader of gambling traffic on the territory of Ukraine.

This Russian illegal company not merely actively works in the Ukrainian market. It also resorts to aggressive advertising strategies, in particular, through social media. In addition to using hidden methods of promotion, they openly violate the legislation on gambling advertising by placing their logos on videos in popular Ukrainian public pages on all social media. In addition to that, they do not use any disclaimers about the harm from gaming addiction and other precautions provided by the Principles of Responsible Gaming established by the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL).

This example vividly demonstrates not only the economic losses for the country. It also shows a deep problem in the law enforcement system, which could not effectively resist the spread of illegal gambling. Failure to effectively deal with illegals puts the legal market in a difficult position, as it creates an uneven playing field where businesses that play by the rules are at a disadvantage compared to those that break them.

The above also leads to a number of adverse consequences that significantly curb the development of the legal gambling market and expose players to danger.

Budget revenues. The most obvious and significant problem is that illegal businesses do not pay taxes and do not spend money on licensing. That is, their activity does not bring any financial benefit to the state. Moreover, it causes significant damage, because the state has to spend money and other resources to fight against them. And ruscist illegal businesses are generally a threat to the national security of Ukraine.

Lack of player protection. Players suffer significant losses from illegal businesses too, because illegal gambling halls are "not burdened" by any obligations under the legislation, and therefore do not provide any financial guarantees regarding the payment of winnings. They also often invent additional "commissions" and "payments" that in addition to reducing payments to players, sometimes turn into debts. In the worst case, players can simply lose all the money from their bank accounts, bas illegal businesses often participate in fraudulent schemes with bank cards.

Personal data. When players interact with illegal businesses, in addition to the risk of losing their money, they endanger their personal data. Getting access to such data can have very serious adverse consequences for players, especially when it comes to illegals connected to the russian federation, as in the case of Mostbet and 95% of all other illegal gambling businesses operating in the Ukrainian market.

It is necessary to understand very clearly that illegal businesses only create problems for the state. Therefore, using them as a resource for influencing Ukrainian citizens, discrediting the law enforcement system, deepening economic problems and other subversive activities is beneficial for the aggressor state. That is why the presence of an illegal gambling business in Ukraine, and with Russian roots, is unacceptable and dangerous.

In order to solve the problem of the illegal gambling business, it is necessary to strengthen the control on the part of the state authorities, in particular through the implementation of effective mechanisms for monitoring, tracking and stopping the illegal activities of establishments and online platforms. In addition to that, there should be an effective system of informing citizens about the risks associated with gambling in illegal establishments and the fact that illegals actually enrich the aggressor country. Finally, international cooperation in the fight against the shadow gambling business is important, especially with Western partners and global financial institutions.


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