Zelensky to sign decree to restrict online gambling

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Zelensky to sign decree to restrict online gambling

On April 20, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of online gambling, proposing a ban on it for military personnel until the conclusion of martial law.

Zelensky endorsed the decision of the National Security and Defense Council, following his earlier announcement regarding the government’s intention to enhance supervision over Ukraine’s online gambling sector.

The societal concerns surrounding the negative repercussions of gambling have gained momentum in public discourse, notably spurred by a petition advocating for restrictions on online gambling, which garnered enough support to warrant presidential attention.

Zelensky has instructed the government to delineate constraints on all forms of gambling advertising, particularly targeting ads featuring symbols of Ukraine’s Armed Forces and other military entities. Additionally, plans include an extensive awareness campaign on the perils of gambling, the implementation of an online monitoring system, and the blocking of illicit gambling websites. Within two months, Ukraine’s Security Service will scrutinize gambling organizers to ensure compliance with legislation, as stipulated in the decree.

Furthermore, the Commander-in-Chief and military unit leaders have been tasked with prohibiting military personnel from accessing gambling establishments and online casinos.

In early April, the Parliamentary Finance Committee endorsed a bill proposing the dissolution of the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries, transferring its responsibilities to the Ministry of Digital Transformation.

Although gambling was officially prohibited in Ukraine in 2009, it was legalized in 2020.

According to Danylo Hetmantsev, chairman of the parliamentary Finance Committee, the gambling industry in Ukraine contributed Hr 2.2 billion ($56 million) in taxes during the first two months of 2024, and Hr 10.4 billion ($267 million) in 2023.