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Ludopathy prevention is possible only on condition of operation of legal gambling

Respectful treatment of customers and mandatory provision of quality and safety guarantees is virtually the first sign of a civilized market. Such a civilized gambling market has been being built in Ukraine since 2020, when the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law of Ukraine "On State Regulation of Activities Regarding the Organization and Conduct of Gambling" and the President signed it.

This is the first legislative act in our country, which determined that the state policy in the field of organization and conduct of gambling is aimed at creating conditions for reducing social risks associated with their organization and conduct. In particular, such risks included the spread of gaming addiction (ludomania).

For the prevention gambling addiction, the national regulator, the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL), approved the general principles of responsible gambling and established requirements for combating pronounced gambling addiction (ludomania), which are mandatory for all legal gambling organizers.

Among preventive measures and precautions that have already been implemented, we can single out the following basic ones:

- Creation of a single Register of persons with restricted access to gambling establishments and/or participation in gambling;

- Establishing the procedure and rules for entering information into this Register and protecting the personal data of persons that appeared in the Register;

- Mandatory posting in places where activities are carried out in the field of organization and gambling of the information on the following: gaming addiction and responsible gaming; player age restrictions; chances of winning; signs of pathological and problem gambling addiction, and places where one can get help in case of their detection.

Reference information on the risks of gambling addiction is publicly available on the website of the regulator and legal gambling establishments. By the way, the largest number of persons whose information is contained in the Register learned about the possibility of self-limitation precisely from the organizers of gambling games. This is evidenced by statistics cited by the CRGL: "50% of respondents learn about the possibility of self-limitation or restriction of relatives from participating in gambling from gambling organizers, 35% learned from the Commission's news, 15% learned from relatives, friends or acquaintances."

In general, as of the beginning of May 2023, there are records of only 687 people in the Register. Of those records, 686 were entered on the basis of self-limitation statements! Applications for restrictions, according to chairman CRGL Ivan Rudyi, were submitted mainly by parents and wives of players. This refutes the myth about the prevalence of gambling addiction. In addition, it is worth noting that not all persons whose data are contained in the register of self-limited persons are gambling addicts.

The legalization of the gambling business demonstrated that licensed gambling organizers behave responsibly and fulfil the requirements of the effective legislation in good faith. Ludomania prevention is a direct consequence of the reform of the gambling market, because there was nothing like it in Ukraine either before 2009, when a ban on the gambling business was introduced, or during the period from 2009 to 2020, when gambling was illegal.

The white gambling market is not only about taxes for state and local budgets. It is also about safety of players and their family members and reducing the risks of spreading gambling addiction.


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