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Who is responsible for gambling by the military?

Recently, the issue of gambling by military personnel on the front line has been discussed very lively in the society. This is logical, because the military stay in extremely difficult conditions and risk their own lives protecting us. Therefore, the appearance of posts in the social media and news pieces about the military gambling away the money earned in combat causes strong waves of public indignation. Let us figure out why this phenomenon occurs, what are its consequences and how to fight it.

Our defenders who remain in conditions of intense hostilities are exposed to the levels of stress and strain that over 99% of the civilian population could not ever imagine. A similar level of psychological pressure and physical exhaustion prompts the military to seek an equally intense way of getting rid of negative emotions and at least a temporary "escape" from the horrors of war. Gambling can easily become such an entertainment, because it is associated with a powerful emotional involvement in the process.

In addition to that, it is virtually impossible to limit access of the military to gambling on the front line. Anyone can gamble with a smartphone and access to the Internet. However, not all military, being in a state of high tension and stress, are able to effectively control their emotions and stop the game in time. It is at the stage of "loss of control" that most problems arise. In terms of consequences, losing large sums of money and playing on illegal sites are the main issues.

To counter the first phenomenon, there is a legislative mechanism that allows limiting the participation of players in gambling by entering a person into the Register of Persons with Limited Access to Gambling. However, it is imperfect, since only the closest relatives can enter a person in this Register. In the conditions of war, changes should be made to it, which, in particular, have been recently proposed by the head of the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL). In the case of the military, battalion commanders should also be added to the list of persons who can enter them into the Register. After all, it is the commanding officers who often know more about the moral and psychological state and problems of the military than their relatives. Currently, the MPs have all the leverage to quickly introduce the relevant legislative changes.

However, even if such changes are implemented, they will solve the problem only partially. After all, access can only be restricted to legal sites through entry in the Register. Gambling on illegal websites, even if a person is entered into the Register, will, unfortunately, still be possible, because illegal gambling businesses do not comply with the law and allow people who have limited access to legal casinos to play on their platforms. Therefore, in the case of choosing a platform for the game, the personal level of responsibility of the military will play a key role.

Each of them should clearly understand that the absolute majority of illegal businesses have direct connections with the russian federation, and therefore, when they lose money on these illegal platforms, they actually finance the Russian war against our state, which they defend, putting their own lives at risk. Moreover, in addition to depriving of money, playing on illegal platforms allows theft of players' personal data, including geolocation data. It is probably not necessary to explain how disastrous consequences this can have not only for the players themselves, but also for their fellow players.

That is why it is worth listening to the idea proposed by the head of the CRGL. Involvement of the military command in controlling the gambling situation in the field will reduce the adverse consequences for both military and the society. After all, having the appropriate legal powers, commanding officers will be able to restrict their subordinates from gambling and implement relevant informational and explanatory work concerning the risks of playing on illegal sites.


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