The acting director of the Ukrainian Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) Olena Vodolashko has voiced that the ‘isolation of Russian in the gambling sphere’ is the current priority for the commission.
Speaking to Ukrinform, Vodolashko said that as part of KRAIL’s work overseeing the newly regulated gambling industry during the ongoing war with Russia, the organisation had made appeals to the international gaming community to end relationships with Russia and apply sanctions against them with a focus on Russian money laundering a necessity.
Vodolashko said: “Since 24 February, our priority has become the isolation of Russia in the gambling sphere. The commission called on the international gambling community to join sanctions and limit the participation of residents of the Russian Federation in gaming with the introduction of appropriate changes to the rules of gambling organisers.”
“The Commission appealed to the European Forum of Gambling Business Regulators (GREF) to support Ukraine and disseminate relevant information regarding Russian military aggression,” she added. “The Association of European Lotteries (EL) also supported our country and suspended the membership of lottery operators from Russia and Belarus. We also appealed to the representatives of foreign companies supplying software regarding the termination of partnership and business relations with the Russian Federation.”
In August, KRAIL chairman Anton Kuchukhidze, said land-based gambling had resumed in western Ukraine but business remained deeply affected by the war. Meanwhile, the gambling market remained severely disrupted in occupied eastern cities like Kherson and Mykolaiv.
Kuchukhidze said: “In the west of Ukraine, of course, the situation is better. Both casinos and slot machine halls function there, but, obviously, the tourist flow of people has fallen, and according to the law, casinos and slot machines can only be located in hotels. We recognise that because of the war, not many tourists are ready to visit us. Therefore, the number of visitors to gambling halls has decreased significantly.”