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The widespread nature of gambling addiction in Ukraine is a fiction

The topic of spreading gaming addiction constantly surfaces in the headlines of a number of media and discussions of "experts". We keep hearing about the "ludomania epidemic" and the risks associated with the legalization of gambling. However, if we take a deeper look at this problem and analyse the facts, we will see that ludomania is not widespread, and the number of addicted players is counted in the hundreds, not the "tens of thousands" that opponents of the reform like to claim.

In my posts, I have repeatedly said that ludomania in Ukraine is not and cannot be widespread, since only about 8% of Ukrainians are potentially interested in gambling, while more than 92% have never had the experience of playing games for money at all . Our research has clearly shown that this issue is not a crisis, and the fact that in 2023 a total of 1,018 people were added to the Register of Persons with Restricted Access to Gambling Establishments and/or Participation in Gambling is a clear confirmation of this.

Let's take another look at several main aspects that reflect the real situation with gambling addiction in Ukraine.

First: the specifics of the players. It is worth considering that not all citizens of Ukraine are interested in gambling. Many people prefer other types of entertainment, are not and have never been engaged in gambling gamble. This makes gambling addiction more of an individual phenomenon rather than a general trend.

Second: industry regulation. The Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries takes decisive measures to regulate the gaming industry and prevent gambling addiction. A number of restrictions on the advertising of gambling games are provided, informational work is being carried out to prevent the spread of gambling addiction, and the improvement of the State Online Monitoring System (DSOM) continues. This helps prevent the risk of developing serious problems with gambling addiction.

Third: social responsibility of legal organizers. Many gambling organizers in Ukraine make efforts to combat gambling addiction and implementing social responsibility programs. In addition to fulfilling legal requirements, they also introduce their own initiatives to inform players about the dangers of gambling addiction, cooperate with specialized organizations and improve self-restraint mechanisms for players.

Fourth: the fight against the illegal market. This is actually a key aspect in preventing the spread of gambling addiction. The illegal gambling market is a much bigger threat to players than legal operators. Illegal gambling establishments and online platforms do not care about the gaming behaviour of players and do not follow the standards of social responsibility.

Gambling addiction in Ukraine certainly exists at the individual level, but we should not panic and use expressions about the "ludomania pandemic" without understanding the context. The main symptom of a pandemic is the uncontrolled and very rapid spread of something. We definitely do not see this with gambling addiction. CRGL and legal organizers pay great attention to preventing this problem and ensuring social responsibility in the industry. In order to further increase the effectiveness of prevention of gambling addiction, it is necessary to continue work to increase awareness, promote the cooperation of all interested parties and, of course, fight against illegal businesses, which are the main source of the spread of gambling addiction.


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