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Zelensky put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on sanctions against betting companies and lotteries with Russian roots

Volodymyr Zelenskyy enforced the decision of the National Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions against betting companies and lotteries with ties to Russia. Among them are Parimatch, Pokermatch, Your betting company (1xBet), Leo.

In total, 120 people and 287 companies related to the gambling business fell under the restrictions.

On March 6, the Security Service of Ukraine, at a meeting of the temporary investigative commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to investigate violations in the field of gambling, reported that the budget annually loses about UAH 12 billion in taxes from the illegal gambling market. The head of economic counterintelligence of the SBU, Artem Shilo, said that legal bookmakers and online casinos paid about 730 million in taxes and another UAH 1.2 billion in license fees in 2022. This is a drop in the ocean, given the number of illegally operating online and offline casinos and bookmakers and the size of the market according to law enforcement officials.

On February 20, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky instructed Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to respond to the work of Russian bookmakers in Ukraine, as well as the Ukrainian IT holding TECHIIA, which supports their activities in Ukraine. This was stated in the president’s response to the electronic petition “Impose sanctions on companies associated with the aggressor state and supporting Russian business in Ukraine.”

Recall that the author of the petition asked the president to impose sanctions on a number of companies that provide gambling services in Ukraine and have Russian roots or work in the interests of the Russian Federation. In particular, we are talking about the Russian bookmakers Fonbet, 1xBet, BetWinner, the Ukrainian subsidiaries of the Russian 1xBet – PointLoto and FanSport, which received licenses from CRAIL to operate in Ukraine, as well as the Ukrainian IT holding TECHIIA, which, according to media reports, has those connections with 1xBet, and his co-founder Oleg Krot publicly supported the work of 1xBet in Ukraine.

The current gambling legislation provides for a strict prohibition to be the organizer of gambling for such legal entities directly or indirectly controlled by residents of a foreign state recognized by law as an occupying state and / or an aggressor state in relation to Ukraine, or acting in their interests. Allowing the above bookmakers and online casinos to operate in Ukraine means hiding the aggressor state. Therefore, guided by Art. 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On Sanctions”, we ask you, Vladimir Alexandrovich, as Chairman of the National Security and Defense Council, to decide on the imposition of sanctions on Ukrainian and Russian legal entities operating in Ukraine in the interests of the aggressor state, as well as on individuals – managers and owners of these companies,” the petition said, listing specific legal entities that are proposed to be sanctioned.

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