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Radical measures in the field of gambling should be applied to illegal operators

The current intensification of public attention to the topic of gambling has led to the launch of many important processes in this area. However, in reality, many initiatives, the most prominent of which is the draft law 9256-d, focus too much on restrictions on legal gambling. This creates favorable conditions for the development of illegal gambling, which is actively used by representatives of the black market, including lottery operators.

It is positive that the latest decision of the National Security and Defense Council, which the President put into effect by his decree on May 20, pays much attention to the fight against illegal immigrants. This decision is largely focused on tightening a number of restrictions for players.

The second important innovation envisaged by this decision is the blocking of websites of gambling organizers that operate without the appropriate licenses. Although there are many questions about the technical side of this process, especially given that the decision also provides for the liquidation of the CRGL, which is most actively involved in blocking these sites, the fact that there is political will from the top government leadership is already a positive development.

From the perspective of fighting illegal gambling and the spread of gambling addiction, it all sounds good, if not for one huge "but" - this decision does not affect lottery players, who are the main illegal operators today. It is very easy to prove this thesis.

1. It is lottery operators who operate without any licenses. The state lottery operators M.S.L. LLC and Ukrainian National Lottery expired their lottery licenses back in 2014, but this does not prevent them from continuing to operate even now and imitate gambling.

2. It is lottery operators that imitate slot machines, online casinos, and betting on their online platforms. At the same time, no lottery has any license to organize and conduct gambling. You won't find them in the lists in the Registers and Lists section of the CRGL website either.

3. It is lottery operators who actively cooperate with land-based illegal gambling by organizing "instant lotteries" in illegal gambling halls, which are an imitation of slot machine games.

4. It is lottery operators who are actively lobbying for the adoption of favorable licensing conditions that will allow them to simulate gambling without paying the relevant license fees and taxes.

It's also worth mentioning that a significant number of illegal operators have close ties to russia, and being tightly integrated into the illegal gambling sector, lottery operators are almost 100% likely to be connected to russia through investments or ultimate beneficiaries. So, when you gamble on illegal platforms, your money may well be used to finance russia's war against Ukraine.

I emphasize once again that illegal lottery activities must be put to an end, because in the context of the war with russia, illegal operators pose a direct threat to the economy, citizens and security of the country as a whole. The legal gambling market, for which the working conditions are now significantly complicated due to new legislative innovations, simply will not survive and will not withstand asymmetric competition from illegal immigrants. Along with the legal market, any signs of civilized gambling in Ukraine, including social responsibility, filling the state budget with hundreds of millions of hryvnias in license fees, etc. will disappear.


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