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Why is the recent case of a player against bet365 interesting for the Ukrainian market?

The Ukrainian legal gambling market is very young, as it has been operating for about 2.5 years. Despite the fact that these years were very busy with developments, there are still a number of phenomena that are hardly inherent to the market. However, as the market develops, it is likely that those phenomena will become more common and create new challenges for legal gambling organizers. Only complex and well-thought-out legislation can help to effectively fight these challenges.

When we consider challenges usually faced by legal gambling organizers in Ukraine, we most often mention issues with illegal businesses or legislative and regulatory incompleteness of the reform. These challenges really hinder the full realization of the potential of the legal market. Due to this, the state budget receives less revenue that it could.

However, in addition to these challenges, there are others that may become relevant for us as well the market develops. Fraudulent playing schemes against a gambling establishment or platform organized by individual players or their groups are among them.

Undoubtedly, Ukrainian gambling organizers have faced similar phenomenon already, but it is not widespread so far. At the same time, in more developed Western markets, they not just only discuss this issue in the mass media; they also actively oppose such fraud.

In this context, the recent case of bet365, one of the leading British gambling companies, is a vivid example. A resident of Essex was sentenced to five years in prison for masterminding a scheme against bet365 that cost the company GBP 236,000 (almost USD 300,000). The fraudulent scheme involved the use of more than 1,000 fake accounts and misuse of bonuses and was in place since at least 2018.

This case is interesting enough. It demonstrates the maturity and stability of the UK legal gambling market. The maximum protection of organizers by legislation is the main indicator of this.

The legal framework of gambling in Great Britain is so developed that enables, in addition to fighting against illegal companies, exposing the long-term fraudulent schemes of players and find them guilty. This indicates a completely different level of perception of the gambling business by the state and society. In Britain, gambling is the same business for the state as, for example, food trading. If someone smashed a window in a grocery store, he/she would be prosecuted. If someone stole money from a legal gambling operator, they would be prosecuted as well.

It is still difficult to imagine something like this in our market, because even illegal businesses do not particularly hide, and organizers of gambling games for some reason are always held responsible for the behaviour of players.

The experience of developed gambling markets suggests that the legal framework is the basis for their stable operation and development. And the more detailed and thought-out it is, the faster and more effectively it is possible to deal with all the challenges facing the market. I hope that in the near future we will be on the path to the systematic development of regulatory and tax legislation for gambling, and adoption of the industry-specific draft law No. 2713-д and the introduction of a unified State Online Monitoring System will be the first important steps on this path.


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