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Ukrainian gambling is becoming increasingly integrated into the global gambling market


A full-scale war has negatively affected all spheres of our life: ordinary citizens, businesses, and the State as a whole suffer from it.


The Ukrainian gambling market is no exception to the general rule and also suffered significant damage due to russia’s military invasion of Ukraine. The land segment was particularly affected, as many gambling establishments were destroyed by rocket fire and bombings.


However, domestic gambling still operates and helps the State fight against the aggressor – it pays taxes and renews licenses, as well as saves jobs and finances charity and humanitarian projects.


Unfortunately, during the war, illegal operators also stepped up, deciding to seize the moment and make money on people’s misfortune, promising them quick enrichment. In addition, foreign companies under international sanctions began to disguise themselves as legal operators of the domestic gambling market.


It is quite difficult to fight these phenomena only by law enforcement agencies. That is why the professional business community, including the Ukrainian Gambling Council (UGC), and the national regulator (Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries) are actively involved in this process.


For instance, UGC has created a special service on its website where one can complain about illegal operators’ ads. And for its part, CRGL is integrating even more into international processesto counter illegal gambling.


Recently, during an online meeting of the GREF (Gaming Regulators European Forum) working group on enforcement issues, CRGL representatives joined the gambling regulators’ statement of intent regarding illegal operators.


The meeting participants, including representatives of regulators from different countries, for instance, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Great Britain, Poland, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, and Hungary, have considered the possibility of exchanging lists of licensed operators, the results of sanctions and open statistical data on illegal gambling operators to coordinate efforts to address their activities.


The meeting participants also discussed the issue of increasing attention to the digital service provision system in the context of its impact on personal data protection.


It is worth noting that this was not the first working meeting where CRGL represented Ukraine in GREF. Although our national regulator joined this forum only in April this year, the Commission members have already participated in specialized working groups several times. For instance, the Ukrainian CRGL delegation joined the annual Gaming Regulators European Forum conference from 31 May to 02 June 2022 in Wiesbaden (Germany).


In general, GREF membership and cooperation with the International Association of Gambling Regulators (IAGR) will facilitate the exchange of experience and information support and become a friendly step to support the Ukrainian economy and its future development following the victory.

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