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Ukraine’s Ongoing Battle Against Illegal Gambling Websites

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Ukraine, the second-largest country in Europe, continues its relentless fight against illegal online gambling. Despite being attacked by Russia over two years ago, Ukraine remains steadfast in tracking and combatting illegal online gambling activities.

In the latest effort to tackle the online gambling black market, the Ukrainian government has issued orders to block nearly 400 illegal gambling websites. This decision was made earlier this week following the issuance of Order 451/2256 by the State Special Communications Service of Ukraine.

Order 451/2256 mandates providers of electronic communications services to effectively restrict access to a total of 371 websites associated with illegal online gambling. This directive requires communication service providers to block access to these websites on their own DNS servers.

The recent blocking order follows an investigation by the Security Service of Ukraine and the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL). On Wednesday, KRAIL confirmed the latest blocking request, aimed at protecting citizens from unlicensed gambling operators.

In a move to further curb gambling-related harm, Ukraine issued a ban on gambling advertising late last month. The restriction addresses concerns about the adverse effects of gambling on citizens and soldiers, prohibiting providers from promoting their gambling services.

This ban is part of a broader effort to combat gambling harm, which also includes restricting Ukrainian military personnel from participating in gambling activities. Soldiers are barred from engaging in any form of gambling, whether online or at land-based casinos.

Since last year, Ukraine has blocked more than 2,500 illegal gambling websites. With the addition of nearly 400 more sites, the total number now approaches 3,000. This initiative also aligns with Ukraine’s intent to cut off access to illegal gambling websites linked to Russia, as confirmed near the end of April.

Many European countries view blocking orders as an effective way to fight the black market. However, while some websites are blocked, new ones continue to appear, underscoring the need for ongoing, proactive monitoring and continuous efforts to curb the expansion of illegal gambling.

Ukraine’s actions demonstrate a commitment to protecting its citizens and maintaining a regulated gambling environment despite the ongoing challenges posed by external aggression and the persistent threat of illegal online gambling operations.

Gambling Regulations in Ukraine

We mentioned recently that in April, president Volodymyr Zelensky announced a series of new regulations aimed at curbing gambling activities, particularly among Ukrainian soldiers. These new rules explicitly ban soldiers from participating in any form of gambling, whether online or in physical locations, for the duration of martial law.

To address gambling addiction, Ukraine is launching a comprehensive awareness campaign highlighting the risks associated with gambling. Additionally, the healthcare system is integrating a clinical protocol for diagnosing and treating gambling addiction. This initiative includes specialized training for medical professionals to better equip them to manage and treat this disorder among patients.

No Casino Purchase by Zelensky

In related news, recent reports claiming that President Volodymyr Zelensky acquired a casino in Kyrenia, Cyprus, have been emphatically denied by the Ukrainian Embassy in the Republic of Cyprus. The embassy dismissed these claims as “another lie” aimed at discrediting Ukraine and its leadership, as well as creating diplomatic tension between Kyiv and Nicosia.

Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides also supported the Ukrainian embassy’s position, confirming that no evidence has surfaced to validate the claims about Zelensky’s involvement in purchasing the casino. This confirmation, coupled with the embassy’s strong denial, should be enough to dismiss these accusations, especially considering the initial report was devoid of concrete evidence.


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