top of page

Illegal online gambling is a bigger threat than it seems

Illegal gambling businesses still remain one of the key problems in the development of the legal gambling market. In addition to systematically violating the law, they also create an adverse image for the legal gambling sector. If land-based illegal gambling establishments try to remain "in the shade", the illegal online segment, on the contrary, behaves openly, not neglecting aggressive advertising. This creates problems for everyone: the state, legal businesses and players.

Combating illegal gambling is currently one of the main priorities for the state within the framework of the development of the legal gambling market in Ukraine. However, due to the technical specifics, it is much more difficult to limit illegal online gambling than the land-based one.

The presence of a large number of technical possibilities to avoid bans and quickly restore the activity of web-sites, unfortunately, allows illegal gambling businesses to feel quite confident. That is why in addition to avoid hiding from law enforcement agencies, as the illegals of the land-based segment do, they also actively advertise their activities on popular web-sites and online platforms. This creates a number of problems for everyone.

For the state, the activity of illegal businesses means non-payment of taxes, license fees and the need to spend resources on combating them. All this leads to hundreds of millions of hryvnias of losses for the budget.

For legal organizers it means traffic theft and, as a result, loss of profits. Statistics shows that players mostly do not check the availability of licenses in online gambling platforms and very often cannot distinguish an illegal gambling service provider from a legal one. Illegal businesses actively use this, promoting their platforms to the top of search results. They also often make their sites similar in design to the platforms of legal organizers in order to make it even easier to mislead players.

For players it means the threat of misuse of personal data and absolutely no guarantees of payment of winnings. By giving illegal businesses access to their personal and banking information, players seriously risk becoming victims of fraud and losing money.

In order to minimize adverse consequences of the activity of illegal businesses, it is necessary to carry out systematic work on their liquidation. It is positive that such work is already underway. In particular, many Russian sites were completely blocked in the beginning of March. We welcome such decisions, because over the course of two years, the UGC has sent many appeals to various government bodies to stop the activities of Russian brands in the Ukrainian gambling market. In total, more than 700 illegal gambling websites were shut down.

This kind of systematic work should be carried out on a permanent basis in order to build an understandable and civilized gambling market in Ukraine. The fight against illegals, both online and offline, must be tough and uncompromising, especially if they are associated with the aggressor state.


bottom of page